Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Indians returning home on the COVID-19 repatriation flights from the UAE will have to undergo medical tests before departure while their COVID test will be conducted only after a compulsory 14-day institutional quarantine after landing, the health protocol issued by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said.
As reported by Gulf News earlier, all passengers will be required to sign an undertaking to undergo compulsory quarantine at the destination of arrival and bear the cost of the same.
On Tuesday night, the Indian Embassy issued a press release further explaining the health protocol to be followed by passengers before departure and after landing in India when the Indian government begins one of the world’s largest repatriations from May 7.
All departing passengers will have to undergo medical screening and IGM/IGG test at the department airport and only those cleared by the UAE health authorities and found to be asymptomatic will be allowed to board the plane, the embassy said.
Each passenger, at the time of boarding would be handed over a safety kit containing two three-layered face masks, two pairs of gloves and pouches/small bottles of hand sanitisers.
While on board the flight, the health protocol of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India will be strictly followed.
“This would include wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene. This will be followed by the airline staff, crew and all passengers,” the embassy said.
The embassy said, “On arrival at the destination airport, thermal screening, as per health protocol, would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport.”
“The passengers who are found to be symptomatic during the screening shall be immediately taken to a medical facility as per the health protocol.”
The remaining passenger will be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities. These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days, the embassy said.
“If they test negative after 14 days, they will be allowed to go home and will undertake self-monitoring of their health for another 14 days as per the protocol. The remaining persons will be shifted to a medical facility by the state or union territory government,” the statement said.
Passenger list finalised
The first two flights of Air India from the UAE will take off from Dubai to Kozhikode and Abu Dhabi to Kochi and on May 7. As per the first week’s air repatriation schedule, around 1900 people are slated to be taken back to India from the UAE.
The passenger lists for the two flights on Thursday have been finalised by the Indian missions in the UAE and dispatched to Air India Express for issuing tickets.
The Indian missions in the UAE will continue to convey the details of further special flights as and when they are announced by the Government of India over the next few days, the embassy said.
Priority will be given to workers in distress, elderly people, urgent medical cases, pregnant women as well as to other people who are stranded in difficult situations, the consulate had said.
In the first set of emails sent out on Tuesday to short-listed applicants wishing to catch the first two flights to Kerala, the consulate asked workers and professionals who have lost their jobs to ensure that exit formalities including visa cancellation are complete.
Pregnant women should submit medical document for the term of pregnancy and any other urgent medical reasons. They should also provide a “fit to travel” certificate from doctor before the flight.
Those flying due to urgent medical requirement should also share supporting documents.
“Please note that in the initial phase priority will be given to people who can travel alone unless there are exceptional circumstances for which names and passport numbers of family members required to travel may please be shared immediately. Please note that the Consulate’s decision in this regard will be final,” a copy of the letter seen by Gulf News said.
As reported by Gulf News, the letter also informed applicants that they will have to buy their tickets costing around Rs.15,000 (Dh725).
“You will also have to fulfill all conditions for travel as prescribed by Government of India and Government of the UAE,” it added.
The mission had also given a deadline of 2pm on Tuesday for the applicants to confirm their consent to fly by abiding by the conditions mentioned.