Scrap Additional COVID Rules For Flyers, Centre Orders Maharashtra

Mumbai: The Union Health ministry has written to the Maharashtra government asking it to align with Central guidelines vis-à-vis international and domestic travellers.

The directive urges Maharashtra to scrap additional COVID-19 conditions imposed by the state in view of the emergence of the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

In a late evening order on Tuesday, Maharashtra government made COVID-19 testing mandatory for all international travellers arriving at Mumbai airport, 14-day home quarantine for all international passengers even if they test negative on arrival, Hindustan Times reported. Passengers taking connecting flights have to first clear a COVID, while domestic passengers have to get themselves tested within 48 hours of flying to Maharashtra.

The above-mentioned conditions are different – and more stringent — than the Union Health ministry’s guidelines which were also issued yesterday.

The Centre feels this would create confusion among flyers.

“This (Maharashtra government’s order) is in divergence with the SoPs (Standard operating procedure) and Guidelines issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India. I would, therefore, urge you to align the orders issued by the state with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. Of India, so that uniform implementation of the guidelines may be ensured across all States/UTs,” Union Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Maharashtra additional chief secretary Pradeep Vyas.

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