Govt issues guidelines for UK returnees amid fear of new coronavirus strain

As Centre announces partial resumption of flights from the UK, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) has been issued amid concerns over the spread of the new COVID-19 strain. 

Govt issues guidelines for UK returnees amid fear of new coronavirus strain

New Delhi: After announcing the partial resumption of flights from the United Kingdom from January 8, Centre on Saturday (January 2, 2021) issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for UK returnees amid concerns over the spread of the new COVID-19 strain. 

India has made negative COVID-19 test reports mandatory for all the passengers flying in from the UK. The airlines will have to ensure that they receive a coronavirus negative test report before allowing the passengers to board the flight. 

All passengers will be mandatorily subjected to a self-paid RT-PCR test upon their arrival at the Indian airports, the government stated in the SOPs. Those who test negative for coronavirus would be advised 14 day home quarantine.

The guidelines read: "All the passengers arriving from the UK in all international flights would be mandatorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests on arrival at the Indian airports concerned." 

While if a passenger tests COVID-19 positive, they shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the state health authorities. The positive samples will be sent to Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs.

The guidelines shall be valid till January 30 (23:59 hrs) or until further orders. All international travellers will be required to declare as per existing procedure, their travel history (of past 14 days) and fill up the "Self Declaration Form" to be screened for coronavirus.

The Centre has also directed the states and UTs to set up help desks at airports to facilitate the implementation of the procedure.

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