There seems to be a difference in the manner of treatment of train and airline passengers when it comes to their quarantining, going by the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Domestic Air Travel of the Tamil Nadu government.
As per the state government’s SOP for domestic air travellers, asymptomatic persons shall undergo home quarantine for 14 days. Passengers who do not have a home in Tamil Nadu and choose for paid quarantine (hotels) will be sent to designated hotels.
On the other hand, the state government had taken all the passengers who had arrived by trains to quarantine centres – government-owned or hotel rooms.
As per the domestic air travel SOP, in case if a passenger develops any Covid-19 symptoms, he/she shall inform the district call centre calling 1077 or report to the nearest government hospital, on intimation to the district nodal officer.
All passengers will be stamped with ‘Quarantine’ inscription with the date with indelible ink before they are allowed to move out of the airport.
Prepaid taxi service authorised by the Airports Authority of India will be lined up and details of the vehicle number, driver name and phone number shall be entered and linked to the passenger details of TN e-Pass System before allowing a passenger out. All passengers should wear a mask, use hand sanitiser and maintain social distance.
The taxis should be disinfected before and after use.
The Tamil Nadu government was initially reluctant to allow domestic inbound flights at the airports in the state.
The SOP lays down some stringent norms mainly for inbound airline passengers.
As per the SOP, after obtaining the flight tickets, the travellers shall register their details in TN e-pass portal following the link: https://tnepass.tnega.org, duly selecting the airport of arrival.
While registering on the portal, travellers have to give declarations about their good health, that they do not live in a containment zone and others.
The other SOPs to be followed at the airports include the thermal screening of the passengers, passengers to be sent to the health desk in a group of not more than 20, and luggage to be disinfected by airport authorities.
Officials directly dealing with passengers will have to wear personal protective equipment and masks.
Symptomatic passengers should be segregated to be sent to isolation facilities in designated ambulances.
Meanwhile, travellers going out of Tamil Nadu will undergo thermal screening as stipulated by the airport authority and only persons without symptoms will be allowed to board the flight. The passenger boarding pass will be used as a document for movement from their home/place of stay to the airport.