CAASL issues new guidelines for passengers and airline crew

The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) has issued new guidelines to all arriving passengers and cabin crew with six more items added to the previous directive. The new directive includes prerequisites for travellers before embarkation, health declaration from Sri Lanka, face masks and mandatory COVID-19 PCR test after arriving in Sri Lanka.

This Special Direction was generated on the instructions given by Civil Aviation Director General, under the power vested in Section 99 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act No.14 of 2010. The full directive on protective measures for passengers and airline crew members as follows:

1. This Special Direction is effective for all crew members at Sri Lankan Airlines involved in bringing back Sri Lankans from the COVID-19-affected countries and crew members of other foreign airlines operating cargo, ferry, medevac flights and flights arriving for refuelling and crew rest currently.

2. After a repatriation flight, all crew members of Sri Lankan Airlines shall strictly adhere to the home quarantine measures following each mission for 14 days and shall be subjected to mandatory PCR testing during the home quarantine period as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

3. After a repatriation flight, all crew members of Sri Lankan Airlines shall be home quarantined under strict supervision of the GMO, Sri Lankan Airlines and Public Health Authority staff in the respective areas of their residence.

4. During the home quarantine period, the index crew member needs to adhere to home quarantine guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

5. At the end of the home quarantine period, crew members of Sri Lankan Airlines shall obtain a clearance certificate from GMO, Sri Lankan Airlines.

6. Crew members, under strict supervision of GMO, Sri Lankan Airlines, will be allowed to go for their annual medical checks to CAASL-designated hospitals and for the medical assessments to Aeromedical Centre, CAASL during this home quarantine period.

7. Crew members shall adhere to strict public health measures when they travel for medical checks to the hospitals and when they attend for medical assessments at CAASL. Further they shall declare that they are under home quarantine when they visit hospitals for checks and when obtaining an appointment for the medical assessment from the Aeromedical Centre.

8. GMO of Sri Lankan Airlines shall:

 i) Submit necessary details of the crew members (identification details, contact details, place/address of residence) to the Epidemiology Unit and Quarantine Unit of Ministry of Health on their arrival.

 ii) Facilitate the whole process according to this Special Direction.

 iii) Issue clearance certificates to the crew members who complete the home quarantine period and submit the same to the management of Sri Lankan Airlines along with their PCR negative test report prior to resuming flying duties of said crew members.

 iv) Maintain appropriate documentation of all crew members who do the repatriation flights, including date and the flight number, date of completion of the quarantine period, or date and flight number if a crew member is called for duties during the home quarantine period, PCR test reports, etc.

 v) Submit a list of crew members who undergo home quarantine with details mentioned in number 4 to SCAI-AM, CAASL weekly.

9. All crew members shall be well-protected with recommended PPE as per the CAASL GD 009 throughout the travel.

10. Crew members are strictly instructed to self-quarantine in their rooms during layovers at a predetermined hotel and consume meals only through in-room dining until they operate the next flight.

11. GMO, Sri Lankan Airlines shall ensure all the crew members are aware of the contents of this document.

12. In the event any crew member develops signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or confirmed positive in PCR test during the quarantine period, shall immediately get admitted to a COVID-19 treatment hospital.

13. If Crew Members are negative for PCR testing after 14 days of quarantine, they can be utilised for subsequent flying duties.

14. Prerequisite for travellers before embarkation:

 a) At the time of the issuing of the travel ticket, all passengers shall be given the health declaration form (HDF) of Sri Lanka by the airline with the air ticket.

 b) Staff at airport check-in counters shall ensure the availability of filled HDF with the air ticket of the passengers.

 c) Airline crew members also must fill the HDF of Sri Lanka.

 d) Passengers and crew members without the filled HDF shall not be boarded to a flight.

 e) CAASL should disseminate a communiquรฉ amongst all airlines/travel agents to ensure the availability of duly completed HDF with travellers at the time of check-in.

15. All travellers should submit the HDF to the health counters set up at the airport. The Public Health Inspectors will scrutinise the HDF and travellers with high risk conditions will be referred to the Airport Health Officer. Airport Health Officer (Medical Officer of Airport Health Office) will examine the traveller, assess the risk condition and a decision will be made whether to permit disembarkation or transfer to a designated hospital.

16. Face masks

 a) All travellers should carry an adequate number of face masks with them.

 b) All travellers should wear a face mask inside at the departing airport, inside the aircrafts, at the arriving airport, and when leaving the aircraft. Passengers with chronic lung diseases/any respiratory issue should inform the airline staff prior to embarkation.

 c) If masks are needed for the travellers, Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Ltd. (AASL) should provide masks at a cost at the arriving airport.

17. Mandatory COVID-19 PCR testing after arriving in Sri Lanka

 i) Passengers

a) All passengers should undergo the mandatory PCR testing on arrival at the airport on day one.

b) Testing laboratory should email all test results immediately to the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health ([email protected]).

c) The AASL should make suitable logistic arrangements to set up the testing facility and arrange the transport of samples to G.H. Negombo or testing laboratory.

ii) Airline crew members

a) Crew members shall undergo PCR testing on day one at the arriving airport in Sri Lanka if they disembark in Sri Lanka except the three categories mentioned below.

b) PCR test on arrival at the airport in Sri Lanka is not needed for crew members of cargo flights/ferry flights originating from Sri Lanka if no disembarkation was done in a foreign country.

c) PCR test on arrival at the airport in Sri Lanka is not needed for crew members of cargo flights/ferry flights/flights arriving for refuelling originated from foreign countries if no disembarkation in Sri Lanka.

d) PCR test on arrival at the airport in Sri Lanka is not needed for crew members of turnaround flights originating from Sri Lanka.

iii) Foreign airline crew members:

a) Shall be allowed to go to their predetermined hotels after the collection of samples for PCR.

b) If the crew member tests positive during their stay in Sri Lanka, they shall immediately get admitted to a COVID-19 treatment hospital. It is the responsibility of the airline/local agent to facilitate this process.

c) The PCR test results of the crew members of foreign airlines will be sent by the laboratory to the Epidemiology Unit ([email protected]) and copied to CAASL ([email protected]) and the Quarantine Unit ([email protected]).

d) If results are not available during their departure, they should be allowed to leave the country and the test results will be conveyed to the airline/local agent by CAASL ([email protected]) via email.

iv) Sri Lankan airlines crew members:

a) Shall be permitted to self-quarantine after collection of samples for PCR at the airport. Repeat PCR is indicated on subsequent arrivals if the last PCR is done seven to 10 days before.

b) The PCR test results of the crew members shall be submitted by the laboratory to the Epidemiology Unit and GMO, Sri Lankan Airlines (anoma.jayasinghe@srilankan,com) with a copy to the Quarantine Unit.

c) This will be applicable only under the following conditions:

– Should wear appropriate PPE and all other preventive measures should be strictly adhered to.

– In a foreign country, should use only designated transport and stay in designated hotels.

– Should not leave the hotel room, and consume in-room dining until departure.

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