Lockdown: Domestic flights resume in Karnataka

Coronavirus Lockdown: Domestic flights resume in Karnataka but cancellations add to confusion

Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport (PTI Photo)

Domestic air travel resumed on Monday after two months of COVID-19 induced lockdown at the city's Kempegowda International Airport with the first flight leaving for Ranchi with about 176 passengers, as cancellations marred the day. According to sources, the first flight out was an Air Asia aircraft to Ranchi that departed at around 5:15 am, while the first arrival was a flight from Chennai at about 8 am with around 113 passengers. Restrictions on number of flights by some states, some of them mandating institutional quarantine, has led to cancellation of several arrivals and outbound flights, sources said. According to reports, over 30 flights flying out of Bengaluru have been cancelled.

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At city's Kempegowda International Airport, about 60 departures and 54 arrivals are expected today, officials said.

According to them, some passengers opted for cancellation at the last moment, like in the case of the Bengaluru to Hyderabad flight.

There are also reports of cancellation of some flights from Sambra airport in Belagavi and Mangaluru airport.

Among the passengers who arrived in the city's airport on Monday was five-year-old Vihaan Sharma, who travelled alone from Delhi.

His mother was seen anxiously waiting to meet her son after three months.

As per the state government standard operating procedure those passengers who have travelled from high COVID-19 prevalence states were shifted to hotels for seven days of institutional quarantine by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses, specially arranged for the purpose.

The Karnataka government has said people coming from high COVID-19 prevalence states--Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh---will have to go for institutional quarantine for seven days, and charges to be borne by the passengers.

After their COVID test comes out negative (swab should be taken between 5-7 day after their arrival) using 'pool testing', they should be sent for home quarantine for another seven days, sources said.

Those coming from other low prevalence states have been asked to follow 14 days of home quarantine.

Home quarantine is allowed for pregnant women, children below 10 years, senior citizens 80 years and above and terminally ill patients along with one attendant after their test result is negative.

In special cases where businessmen are coming for urgent work, they are permitted without the necessity of quarantine if they bring the negative test report of COVID-19 from ICMR approved Laboratory and it should not be more than two days older from the date of travel.

In case they don't have such certificate, they have to undergo COVID-19 test and stay in paid institution quarantine till the test result comes out.

In an effort to protect passengers and staff from the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) that operates the city airport has introduced a Parking-to-Boarding 'contactless' journey. 

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