In the wake of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, the Centre has come up with new guidelines and regulations for travelers arriving from different countries. However, the governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka have issued their own set of guidelines that differs from that of the state. The same problem rose during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and once again is going to create a lot of confusion for the passengers according to the airlines and travel companies.
Different Guidelines Will Create Confusion
The concerns of the new Omicron variant have been rising globally and governments across the world have been on their toes to take adequate precautionary measures. The central government in India has issued preventive guidelines and mandates for passengers coming from abroad. According to these rules, for travelers arriving from countries “at-risk”, it is mandatory to upload a covid negative test along with the 14-day travel plan on the Air Suvidha Portal created by the government. These passengers also need to complete another RT-PCR test on their arrival in the country.
However, Karnataka and Maharashtra have come up with their own rules and regulations. As per the guidelines set by the government of Maharashtra, flyers from countries “at-risk” need to complete a one-week institutional quarantine compulsorily while the Karnataka government has made the requirement of seven days home quarantine for these passengers despite if they have tested negative.
Questions over these inconsistencies between the governments are being raised by many in the industry. One of the senior executives in an airline who requested to be anonymous said that governments haven’t learned their lessons from the problems created because of these inconsistencies in decisions during the second wave of covid-19. Another executive from an airline said that they are already witnessing canceling of flight bookings and that too when the demand was reaching around 90% of pre-covid levels.
Chairperson of one of the leading biopharmaceutical companies Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw also tweeted about the issue saying that seven days of quarantine even for negative tested passengers is an overkill. She said that vaccination will safeguard people and not travel restrictions. In another tweet, she said that on Day 1 of Omicron travel regulations, there’s a wait for 6 hours to get tests done. She made a comment that if a person doesn’t have a virus they might acquire it at the airport.