The health authorities have sent a proposal to CAAB for shortening the quarantine period, due to inadequate quarantine facilities
The government has made the 14-day institutional quarantine mandatory for the passengers returning from abroad, aiming to contain the spread of Covid-19.
But now the government is considering shortening the duration of the quarantine period to just five days, after failing to accommodate all the returnees, reports Bangla Tribune.
A decision will be made in this regard after a discussion with the government departments concerned, officials said.
With a view to curb the surge of Covid-19 cases and fatalities, the government imposed strict lockdown from April 14 and extended it until April 28.
Although the civil aviation authorities, in line with the government decision, suspended all international flights from April 14, it started special flights to five countries from April 17 to facilitate the migrant workers' return to their workplaces.
At the same time, the authorities also announced that those who will return home must be quarantined institutionally for 14 days.
In this case, expatriates can stay at the quarantine centres alongside hotels designated by the government, if they want.
Officials said as the accommodation facility is not adequate for the returnees at Diabari and Hajj Camp quarantine centres in Dhaka, the authorities concerned directed the airlines to ensure hotel booking by the passengers before issuing boarding passes.
As the airlines have been asked not to give any boarding card unless there is a hotel booking, expatriates are returning home by confirming the booking being compelled, according to the returnees.
As the expense in hotels is high, some passengers cannot afford to stay there till the stipulated time.
In these circumstances, they are shifted to Diabari or Hajj Camp quarantine centres.
Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), said the health authorities had sent a proposal for shortening the quarantine period.
"We are considering the matter. It is not final yet," he said.
Some expatriates from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) told Bangla Tribune on Thursday evening that they were waiting at Sharjah International Airport to return home.
The airlines concerned were not giving them boarding passes without any hotel booking while they did not have enough money to stay at a hotel, they said.
The expatriates further said when they bought the tickets from travel agencies, they were told they did not need to book a hotel as they could stay at the government quarantine centres.
Meanwhile, the airlines said they were facing trouble while giving boarding passes to passengers, as many of them were opting to stay in government quarantine centres, rather than hotels.