Health ministry releases guidelines for domestic journey: Wearing masks obligatory, passengers to undergo thermal screening at point of departure

New Delhi: The health ministry on Sunday issued guidelines for domestic travel, advising passengers to download the Aarogya Setu application on their mobile devices and asking states to ensure thermal screening at departure point of airports, railway stations and bus terminals.

Asymptomatic passengers should be permitted to travel after being asked to self-monitor for 14 days, the ministry said.

Dos and Don’ts shall be provided along with tickets to travellers by agencies concerned, said the ministry’s guidelines for domestic travel (air/train/inter-state bus travel).

All passengers shall be advised to download the Arogya Setu application on their mobile devices, it said.

 Health ministry releases guidelines for domestic travel: Wearing masks mandatory, passengers to undergo thermal screening at point of departure

Representational image. Image procured by Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

The guidelines come after the Indian Railways last week issued a list of 100 pairs of trains that it will operate from 1 June, putting in operation popular trains such as Durontos, Sampark Krantis, Jan Shatabdis and Poorva Express.

Also, after a two-month hiatus, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has announced resumption of domestic flights from 25 May.

In its guidelines for domestic travel, the health ministry said suitable announcement about COVID-19, including precautionary measures to be followed, shall be made at airports, railway stations and bus terminals as well as in flights, trains and buses.

The states/UTs shall ensure that all passengers undergo thermal screening at the point of departure and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the flight, train or bus.

During boarding and travel, all passengers shall use face covers or masks and will also follow hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and maintain environmental hygiene, the ministry said in its guidelines.

At airports, railway stations and bus terminals, required measures to ensure social distancing shall be taken, the guidelines said.

Airports, railway stations and bus terminals should be regularly sanitised or disinfected and the availability of soaps and sanitisers shall be ensured, the health ministry said.

Thermal screening at exit point shall be arranged and asymptomatic passengers will be permitted to go with the advice that they shall self-monitor their health for 14 days, the guidelines said.

“In case, they develop any symptoms, they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre (1075),” they said.

Those found symptomatic will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility and will be assessed for clinical severity at the health facility, the guidelines said.

Those having moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated COVID health facilities and managed accordingly, the guidelines said.

Those having mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated in the COVID Care Centre (both public and private facilities) as appropriate and tested as per ICMR protocol, they said.

“If positive, they will continue in COVID Care Centre and will be managed as per clinical protocol. If negative, the passenger may be allowed to go home, isolate himself/herself and self-monitor his/her health for further 7 days,” the health ministry said.

In case any symptoms develop, they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state or the national call centre (1075), it said.

The ministry said states can also develop their own protocol with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment.

Updated Date: May 24, 2020 19:31:17 IST

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