Tamil Nadu Skies Open for Air Travel, But Flights to Hotspot Chennai Capped at 25 per Day

Image for representation (PTI photo)

Image for representation (PTI photo)

Due to high number of virus cases, flights from Gujarat and Maharashtra may be kept at the barest minimum level and “there is no issue for operating any number of outgoing flights from Tamil Nadu”.

  • CNN-News18 chennai
  • Last Updated: May 25, 2020, 12:11 AM IST

Ending uncertainty over resumption of domestic flight services in the state from Monday, the Tamil Nadu government allowed passenger operations at the airports here and three other cities and notified guidelines, which included 14 days home quarantine and an e-pass for entry.

On Sunday, it apprised the Centre that incoming domestic flights to Chennai can be restricted to 25 per day.

There is no limitation on operations of flights to Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchirappalli (the three other airports in the state), Chief Secretary K Shanmugam told the Centre in a letter.

Due to high number of virus cases, flights from Gujarat and Maharashtra may be kept at the barest minimum level and “there is no issue for operating any number of outgoing flights from Tamil Nadu,” Shanmugam said.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SoP), which has separate norms for incoming and outgoing passengers and procedures to be followed at the airport, said asymptomatic people shall undergo home quarantine for 14 days.

It said if air journey was undertaken without meeting the eligibility criteria they would be liable for penal action. Passengers who do not have a residence in Tamil Nadu and opting for paid quarantine, shall be sent to designated hotels for institutional quarantine, a Government Order on SOP said.

Earlier in the day, there was uncertainty over resumption of flight operations with officials of the airports and the city corporation saying they were awaiting announcement of the government’s final decision and the SoP, which finally came late on Sunday.

The order said people who were found symptomatic will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility and then subjected to confirmatory RT-PCR test.

Those testing positive for COVID-19 and having moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to a hospital or a health centre and people with mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation. Those who test negative for the virus shall be in home quarantine for 14 days.

The government made it clear that all air passengers flying into Tamil Nadu should obtain a “TN e-pass” through the TN e-pass portal by agreeing to conditions that are set out in the form of a declaration. The e-pass travel permit will be issued with a QR code.

Among the riders are that they were not from any containment zones and they had not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two months and undertake to adhere to all the norms of the State government.

If the passengers do not fulfill such conditions, they will not be eligible to travel to Tamil Nadu. “All passengers will be stamped with quarantine

seal with date with indelible ink before they are allowed to move out of the airport.”

Temperature checking, carrying out disinfection of luggage were among the procedures detailed for implementation at the airports.

Outward travellers will be screened and only those without symptoms for the virus shall be allowed to board the flight, the government said.

Tamil Nadu had earlier opposed allowing domestic flight operations till May 31 in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state.

(With inputs from PTI)



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