kia: New SOP for international flyers creates flutter at Bengaluru airport | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Confusion and anger prevailed among some flyers at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) on Monday evening after travellers who landed from the UK and other European countries were forced to undergo RT-PCR tests at the airport.
Late on Monday, the Karnataka government issued fresh rules for travellers whose flights originated from eight specific countries, besides Europe including the UK. These flyers would have to mandatorily undergo RTPCR tests on arrival.
Sources at KIA said passengers who flew in from parts of Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe were caught off guard. The new rule was imposed following fears over AY.4.2, the new variant of the novel coronavirus. Two people in Bengaluru were found to be infected with the new variant in June and although experts have said it is not a variant of concern, the government is leaving nothing to chance.
While the previous SOP required flyers to only update a RT-PCR negative reports not older than 72 hours on Air Suvidha portal prior to boarding at their respective ports, the new rule, which was implemented with immediate effect, came as a shock to those disembarked at KIA on Tuesday.
“A slight confusion ensued with some passengers refusing to cooperate. Officials had to explain the new rule and the situation was brought under control,” an airport official said. “Passengers underwent Covid tests and left without any delays. They were advised to remain in home quarantine for a week and take an RT-PCR test on the eighth day.”
Unscientific rule

Some flyers strongly objected, suggesting the new rules were unscientific. They pointed out that passengers from Gulf countries, who comprise a large chunk of those who pass through KIA, are not required to undergo RT-PCR tests on arrival, despite the fact that many would have used airports in Gulf countries as transit points to travel from Europe or other countries of concern to Bengaluru.
The situation on Tuesday, sources said, was sorted out with tests conducted on all arrivals as per the government order. Passengers were allowed to leave after their details were collected for correspondence in case of a positive test result. Covid tests for stipulated arrivals at KIA will continue till a revised government order is passed, sources said.

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Sagar Biswas

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