Covid-19: RT-PCR tests to begin soon for international passengers on arrival at airports
The ministry of civil aviation late on Wednesday issued guidelines on starting RT-PCR tests on a pilot basis for those international passengers arriving in India, who have connecting domestic flights after landing.
If the RT-PCR test result is negative, the passenger will be permitted to take the connecting flight to other domestic destinations in India without getting quarantined at the city of arrival in India, the circular issued by the ministry said.
“There is no provision for RT-PCR test at the entry point of the airport itself if the passenger could not get the same done within 96 hours prior to undertaking the journey from abroad,” the circular issued by the ministry said.
According to the guidelines, the airport operators will create facilities, which will serve as sample collection areas for RT-PCR testing and will also be used as a waiting lounge. The facility should be in strict compliance with the protocols established by the ICMR and the NABL. One representative of state authorities of the airport will also be present in the waiting lounge.
The guidelines state the airports should provide the option to the passengers to do online booking of the RT-PCR test through respective websites or other appropriate online platforms. A proper escort has to be ensured for the passenger from a help desk to the waiting lounge.
Such on-arrival testing facilities can be extended to other passengers too, the order said.
At present, scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 22. However, special international flights have been operating under government’s Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble pacts signed with various countries.