New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday sent a letter to the Maharashtra government and urged it to align the orders given in the wake of the new Covid-19 variant omicron with the guidelines issued.
The letter, signed by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, calls for uniform implementation of guidelines across all the states and union territories, Hindustan Times reported.
The letter has identified four points from the Maharashtra government’s guidelines, including mandatory RT-PCR testing of all international travellers at the Mumbai airport irrespective of country of origin, mandatory 14-day home quarantine for all international passengers despite being tested RT-PCR negative upon arrival, mandatory RT-PCR test for passengers planning to undertake connecting flights after disembarking at Mumbai and further travel subject to a negative RT-PCR result and requirement of negative RT-PCR test 48 hours prior to date of journey, for domestic passengers travelling from other states, issued earlier on November 30.
The Union Health Secretary in the letter sent to Maharashtra’s Additional Chief Secretary advised that such modified orders of the state government are given wide publicity to obviate any inconvenience to the travellers.
This comes as the Maharashtra government had earlier on Tuesday announced these guidelines stating they will come into effect immediately in order to restrict the transmission of the said virus variant into the state.
“The restrictions imposed by the Government of India guidelines dated November 28, 2021 as well as future restrictions, if any, shall act as minimum restrictions to be imposed,” read the order copy.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), though, on Wednesday said that a window of two days shall be granted to all passengers from ‘at-risk’ nations since many fliers will have already finalised their plans of travel, may be on the move or might even be airborne and unaware of these guidelines.
The revised guidelines will come into effect at 11.59 p.m. from December 2.
Besides, the Mumbai airport operators have been directed by the BMC to communicate to all domestic airlines not to allow any passengers landing in Mumbai, to board flight without negative RT-PCR report taken within 72 hours of travel.
The BMC said that testing may be allowed at the airport on arrival only in exceptional cases.
The state government has also asked DCP Immigration and Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to draft a proforma of declaration for all arriving passengers on international flights to declare details of the nations visited in the last 15 days.
In addition, the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) authorities have been asked to share the proformas with all airlines and the information regarding travel in the last 15 days will be cross-checked by immigration on arrival.
The Maharashtra government in its order said incorrect information furnished by the passengers will lead to action under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.