In a recent development, Etihad Airways has found itself in trouble with the New Delhi district authorities as the latter has issued a show-cause notice to the airlines on the grounds of violating guidelines set by the centre for the arriving international passengers at IGI airport. These guidelines have been set in the wake of the rising Omicron variant of covid-19. The station manager of the airline is expected to respond to the notice within 24 hours.
New Guidelines Amid Rising Omicron Cases
The notice has been issued by Vasant Vihar sub-divisional magistrate and it stated that the guideline to random test 2% of passengers arriving at the airport was not followed by the airline on two flights arriving from Abu Dhabi to IGI airport in Delhi on Sunday and Monday. The notice further said that the mentioned norm has been not followed by the airline. The station manager of the airline has to reply to the show-cause notice within 24 hours of receiving the notice.
Etihad Airways isn’t the first airline to receive such notice as recently three more carriers have been issued notices for violating the set norms for international passengers arriving in the country. The Union Health Ministry has issued the guidelines for international arrival in which one of the norms suggest that random testing of 2% of passengers who are not “at-risk” should be done by the airlines on a random basis at the airports.
The guideline has been brought into effect from December 1 and it also states that passengers who are arriving from or have taken transition flights from the countries “at-risk” have to compulsorily go through RT-PCR tests in the airport and have to wait for the results before leaving the airport or taking a connecting flight. It further states that on testing negative, these passengers will be required to have a 7-day quarantine in India and will be tested again on the 8th day. If results are again negative, a 7-day self-monitoring of health would be implacable.
The “at-risk” countries have been set by Union Health Ministry and these include countries in Europe, including the UK, and South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel. It is to be noted that so far 21 cases of the new Omicron variant have been reported in the country. Furthermore, WHO in a statement said that the preliminary study on the variant suggests that it has increased chances of infection as compared to other concerning variants.