NRI family alleges ‘illegal confinement’

U.K. returnees sent to institutional quarantine despite testing negative move HC

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the governments on a petition by a family of four, including two minor children, who have been sent to seven-day institutional quarantine after returning from the U.K. even after testing negative for COVID-19.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued notice to the Ministries of Civil Aviation and External Affairs and also to the Delhi government on the plea moved by the family, which is quarantined at Hotel Vivanta in Dwarka here.

The family has alleged that the action amounted to “illegal confinement” as they had tested negative for COVID-19. Their plea stated that all the members were tested for COVID-19 when they arrived here from the U.K. on February 20 and despite testing negative, they were “illegally and unlawfully” sent to institutional quarantine.

Fit-to-fly certificate

The plea said the action was illegal as according to the guidelines published on the Delhi airport website, institutional quarantine was not mandatory for all the passengers arriving from the U.K. and was applicable only to those who tested positive for COVID-19. The petition said that before starting from the U.K., the family had undergone a COVID-19 test and they were issued a ‘fit-to-fly’ certificate.

After arriving at Delhi, they were again tested and were found negative, despite which they were sent to institutional quarantine at their cost in a 5-star hotel instead of home quarantine as sought by them. The plea has sought that the petitioners be released from their alleged “illegal confinement” and the cost of their “forced” stay be borne by the Centre and Delhi government.

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