Maharashtra Government Changes Air Travel Rules For Domestic And International Passengers

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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, 2nd December 2021: After an advisory from the central government over its air travel restrictions, Maharashtra State Government has amended its rules now.

Earlier, all air travellers from other states to Maharashtra were required to have negative RTPCR report for COVID-19.

Today, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Debasish Chakrabarty has issued another order.

“In the case of domestic air travel, Passengers will either have to be fully vaccinated or compulsorily carry RTPCR Test certificate showing negative result within 72 hours before boarding”, the new order states

In the background of detection of “Omicron” variant of the COVID 19 virus in South Africa and some other countries, and its declaration as a Variant of Concern (VOC) by the
World Health Organisation, Government of Maharashtra had promulgated guidelines for Air Passengers coming into Maharashtra state.

The order which has come into immediate effects further states:

a. The restrictions imposed by the Government of India guidelines from time to time shall act as minimum restrictions to be imposed on all international and domestic air
passengers.

b. The following countries are categorised as “High Risk Countries”:

i. South Africa
ii. Botswana and
iii. Zimbabwe

c. The categorisation as “High Risk Countries” is a dynamic exercise based on evolving situation of “Omicron” variant of the COVID 19 and hence will be updated as required by Government of Maharashtra.

d. The following categories of Air Passengers shall be declared as “High-Risk Air Passengers”:

i. The Air Passengers who are coming from “High-Risk Countries” to
Maharashtra;

ii. The Air Passengers who have visited any of “High-Risk Countries” in past 15
days before arrival in Maharashtra.

e. Following restriction shall apply to only “High-Risk Air Passengers” in addition to those imposed by GOI:

“High-Risk Air Passengers may be deplaned on priority and separate counters will be arranged by respective airport management authorities at all
international airports of the State of Maharashtra for their screening and
verification. Such all “High-Risk Air Passengers” shall have to undergo
RTPCR Test immediately on arrival at respective international airport and
shall undergo mandatory 7day “Institutional Quarantine” with second RTPCR Test to be carried out on 7″ day. If any of the RTPCR Test is found to be
positive, then such “High Risk Air Passenger’ shall be shifted to a Hospital
with Covid Treatment Facilities. In case result of RTPCR Test of 7 day
comes negative, such “High Risk Air Passenger” will have to undergo a
further 7 days of Home Quarantine.”

f. DCP immigration and FRRO will draft a proforma of declaration for all arriving
passengers on international flights to declare details of the countries visited in last 15 days. Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has to share the proformas with all airlines. The information regarding travel in the last 15 days shall be cross checked by immigration on arrival. An incorrect information furnished by the passenger shall lead to action under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

g. In the case of domestic air travel, Passengers will either have to be fully vaccinated or compulsorily carry RTPCR Test certificate showing negative result within 72 hours before boarding.