Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown had seen air travel brought to a near standstill. Passenger flights had been halted, and apart from repatriation flights, air travel was not a possibility. Since then, the limitations have been relaxed somewhat - with domestic flight services restarting at the end of May.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation issued guidelines for stakeholders, in connection with the resumption of domestic flights. According to the guidelines, international passengers who arrive at an airport to take a domestic connecting flight at passengers can now do so provided certain conditions are met.

The passenger would have to submit a self declaration form and undergo mandatory temperature screening. The passenger would also have to be in possession of a valid negative RT-PCR test report, which has been conducted within 96 hours prior to undertaking travel. "This report shall be validated by the State Government official at arrival triage and be stamped as accepted," the report adds.

Such passengers would then be allowed to exit the triage area without having their hands stamped and would be permitted to proceed to the domestic section of the airport.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had issued guidelines that became operational from August 8. According to this, "All travellers should submit self-declaration form on the online portal ( at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel. They should also give an undertaking on the portal that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days i.e. 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health."

Home quarantining would only be permitted only for compelling reasons. Those wishing to seek an exemption should apply on the online portal at least 72 hours before boarding.

"Travelers may also seek exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test report on arrival," the guidelines had added.

Alongside observing all social distancing measures while travelling, the passenger would also be urged to have the Aarogya Setu app installed on their phones.

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Free Press Journal