DGCA bans air travel from EU, UK

DGCA bans air travel from EU, UK
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Highlights

Stepping up the COVID-19 preventive measures, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Director General of Shipping (DGD) has put in a series of measures for the airlines, shipping companies, seafarers and maritime training institutions in the country.

Hyderabad: Stepping up the COVID-19 preventive measures, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Director General of Shipping (DGD) has put in a series of measures for the airlines, shipping companies, seafarers and maritime training institutions in the country.

The DGCA in continuation to its earlier measures has prohibited travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, the United Kingdom to India and the ban has come into effect from 5.30 pm on Wednesday (1200 hrs of Greenwich Mean Time).

Following this, all airlines are ordered not to board even a single passenger from the above nations to India with effect from IST 5.30 pm on March 18, 2020. The airlines were told that they shall enforce the prohibitory orders at the point of initial departure.

The DGCA said that these directions are given as a temporary measure and it will be in force till March 31, and the same will be reviewed on a later date.

The foreign airlines engaged in international air transportation to and from India are also told to observe the directions strictly and not to carry any passenger in violation of these directions.

Taking similar measures, the DGS has told to all the Indian ships to develop a disease outbreak management plan for dealing with the outbreak, taking into consideration the interim guidance issued by the World Health Organisation.

As part of the measures, the vessels are asked to consider using the hospitals on board for isolating suspected cases until they are disembarked and transferred to a healthcare facility.

Also, adequate protocols need to be developed for managing suspected cases on the vessel including clinical management, cleaning and disinfection of possible contaminated areas etc.

As part of containing the spread of the COVID-19, it asked that the plan may also need to include provisions regarding pre-boarding procedures, screening procedures, educating the crew on how to recognise the signs and symptoms of the disease, reporting procedures etc.

Also, the garbage that should be landed ashore from vessels may need to be properly disinfected to ensure that there is no possibility of transmission of COVID-I9 disease from the landed garbage.

Further, all seafarers are asked to avoid availing shore leave in infected regions and consider the risks involved before desiring to go ashore in other regions.

Availing shore leave during the pandemic may need to be avoided and used only in exigencies with necessary precautions.

Also, seafarers, who have travelled abroad to infected regions, are advised to self-quarantine immediately on arrival in India for at least 14 days.

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