Only 7 days hotel quarantine payment should be charged from Foreign returnee, MHA Writes to States

Indian Home Ministry on Tuesday has mandated all state governments to ensure that hotel quarantine for foreign returnees should be reduced from 14 days to 7 days and any advance payment received for 14 days should refunded.

The Home Ministry emphasized  in the letter that the repatriated citizens need only seven days of institutional quarantine in the hotel.

“As per the guidelines, protocols for institutional quarantine have been revised to seven days followed by seven days home quarantine after medical assessment,” the MHA said in the letter to states.

“It has been brought to the notice of this ministry that Indian nationals who were quarantined in hotels after their return from abroad were made to pay advance for 14 days. Since they can now leave for home quarantine after seven days, the amount paid by them for the remaining seven days needs to be refunded to them with some hotels refusing to do so,” it added.

The Home Ministry further pushed the state chief secretaries to issue necessary directions to hotels to ensure the returnees are refunded.

“You are requested to issue necessary directions to hotels earmarked/used for institutional quarantine to ensure that foreign returnees who were quarantined in hotels and paid an advance for 14 days, shall be refunded their balance amount without any delay,” the MHA said.

The guidelines from the MHA have been amended to keep foreign returnees to remain under institutional quarantine for only seven days, with a further seven-day home quarantine after medical assessment.

On Sunday, the MHA had issued a reviewed Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for the return of Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown, detailing it will be a paid service and preference will be given to people in distress including those who have lost their jobs and pregnant women.

A similar SOP was also issued by the government for those who are stranded in India and desire to travel abroad.

As per the latest SOP, all passengers will have to provide an undertaking that they would be subjected to mandatory quarantine for 14 days. It will be a seven-day paid institutional quarantine at their cost, followed by seven days of isolation at home with self-monitoring of health.