A high level meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was held under the chairpersonship of Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi yesterday. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey attended the meeting.
The GoM had detailed deliberation on prevention and management of COVID-19. In its additional Travel Advisory, Government has further tightened restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from high-risk areas. Expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from or transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. It will come into effect from 1200 GMT tomorrow at the port of first departure.
Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from tomorrow. No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT tomorrow. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure. The instructions are temporary measures and will be in force till 31st of this month and will be reviewed subsequently.
Other important measures include, to encourage private sector organizations or employers to allow employees to work from home wherever feasible. Meetings, as far as feasible, shall be done through video conferences. Restaurants must ensure handwashing protocol and proper cleanliness of frequently touched surfaces. They must ensure physical distancing a minimum 1 metre between tables and encourage open air seating with adequate distancing. Local authorities will have a dialogue with organizers of sporting events and competitions involving large gatherings and they may be advised to postpone such events.