After two years, India is finally set to resume its roster of regular international flights from the 27th of March, 2022. The last scheduled international flight landed in India just before the first lockdown, which officially began on the 25th of March 2020.
This news by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is a sign that India and the world are emerging victorious in their fight against the pandemic. Among other things, the credit for this feat goes to the ‘stall and vaccinate strategy’.
Under this ideology, global authorities severely restricted the movement of people through lockdowns and air bubble agreements. Doing so gave doctors, scientists, pharma companies and governments just enough time to manufacture and distribute the coronavirus vaccines.
Their efforts have resulted in a low number of cases, thus allowing the world to open up and international flights to resume. Although, some caution is still mandated. So, if you’re planning on flying to an international destination soon, you must be aware of the norms put in place by India’s Health Ministry.
Health Ministry norms for regular international flights
Indian passengers taking to international skies from the 27th of March can do so only after adhering to specific safety guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). These include:
- Before getting on a flight to India from any international destination, passengers must fill up a self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal. Remember that you cannot submit this form without uploading a negative RT-PCR test or your 2-dose vaccination certificate.
- Upon landing in India, authorities will transport symptomatic passengers to a medical facility even if they’re carrying a negative RT-PCR test and a vaccination certificate.
- Authorities will also conduct random RT-PCR tests of at least 2% of passengers getting off an international flight.
As you can notice, the norms for exiting India are negligible compared to when you re-enter the country. Such is the case for international travel to all nations. Therefore, along with asking when international flights will start in India, you must also figure out the arrival norms for the countries you wish to visit beforehand.
Simply put, you must read and prepare for entering countries, rather than exiting them.
The resumption of scheduled international flights is welcome news for both the aviation industry and travellers.
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