1000’s of passengers arriving from nations the place Omicron has been discovered could also be caught on the Delhi airport for as much as six hours whereas they wait for his or her RT-PCR exams, sources mentioned right this moment.
New guidelines that come into impact at midnight require testing at airports for vacationers from greater than 14 at-risk nations the place the Omicron variant has been detected.
Passengers from these nations can not exit the airport till the outcomes present they’re Covid damaging.
It can take between 4 to 6 hours for these outcomes to be processed. The corporate dealing with RT-PCR exams can course of 400-500 exams an hour, the sources say, including that efforts are being made to ramp up testing amenities.
Passengers might want to wait in a particular holding space, socially distanced however with lots of of passengers close by.
A mean Europe to Delhi direct flight takes 8.5 hours. Add two hours on the airport earlier than the flight, six hours on the Delhi airport and at the very least an hour to clear customs and immigration and choose up one’s baggage. That makes at the very least 17 hours earlier than the passenger can go away the Delhi airport.
If a minimal of two.5 hours is added for a connecting flight via the Center East, which means 19.5 hours. A connecting flight after a six-hour halt on the Delhi airport may add at the very least 2.5 hours to the time, relying on the vacation spot. So some passengers might be taking a look at a journey time approaching nearly 24 hours.
As of now, all passengers from Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel will likely be examined on the airport utilizing the RT-PCR technique. 5 per cent of travellers from different nations will even be randomly examined.
All these passengers are set to face lengthy hours of ready on the airport earlier than they are often allowed to exit or take a connecting flight.
It isn’t recognized but what number of testing counters will likely be arrange.
Movies right this moment confirmed preps on the Delhi Worldwide airport. Chairs which might be socially distanced have been positioned in lengthy rows inside a holding space for passengers who might want to take the RT-PCR take a look at upon arrival and look forward to the outcomes.
The federal government tightened guidelines for screening and testing of worldwide arrivals after a person who just lately returned from South Africa examined optimistic for COVID-19. The pressure has not but been established. There is no such thing as a Omicron case in India as of now, the federal government mentioned in parliament right this moment.
Beneath the brand new guidelines, passengers will likely be requested to declare 14 days’ journey historical past and they’re going to must be on a seven-day quarantine in the event that they take a look at damaging.