Due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, all international passenger flights were suspended back in the month of March. However, the aviation board did allow international charter flights and repatriation flights. Now the aviation regulatory in India has also formed a bilateral air bubble with a few countries which would allow the operation of international flights. However, these will be allowed only with a set of guidelines and restrictions. Scroll down to know more.
How Will International Flights Operate?
Amidst this coronavirus pandemic, the flights would operate through an air bubble. The air bubble is an arrangement where carriers of two countries can operate flights but with a set of regulations and restrictions. The arrangement has been made to help the airline fly between two countries.
Which Countries Can You Fly To?
India is trying to arrange an air bubble with around 13 countries. Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister with his post on Twitter shared that these countries include Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea & Thailand. By now, India has managed to set an air bubble arrangement with the Maldives, US, UK, France, Germany, UAE, and Qatar.
Who All Will Be Allowed Into India?
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, other than Indian citizens, foreign nationals will also be allowed to enter. However, they must hold an essential visa approved by the Ministry Of Home Affairs. Also, they must be coming from the countries with whom India has signed the air bubble arrangement.
The passengers arriving will have to undergo 7-days of institutional quarantine followed by 7 days of home quarantine if tested positive. If the passenger has a COVID-negative certificate, 96-hours before their travel, they can avoid the 7-day mandatory quarantine in India.
According to the latest reports, the Delhi airport will have a COVID-19 testing facility.
Who Can Travel Out Of India?
Indian nationals holding any kind of visas to countries under the air bubble agreement can travel. Passengers who are travelling from India will have to follow the different restrictions and testing in the country they are travelling to. A lot of countries ask all passengers to undergo self-isolation upon their arrival for a period of 7 days. This clearly depends on the destination you are travelling to.
How Different It Would Be To Fly During This Time?
All the health authorities are suggesting to drop travel plans if non-essential. However, if you still need to, you must mentally prepare yourself that air travel would no longer be the same. All the airlines have different rules and regulations that all the passengers are expected to follow. Right from wearing a face mask and shield all the time to getting our temperature checked at various stops, it all would be new but we will need to get used to it. Many airlines have completely stopped serving food and beverage onboard to limit the contact between the aircrew and the passengers. To have a better idea of your travel, you can connect to the airlines and note down all the guidelines beforehand.
As suggested by many health professionals, it is best to avoid any kind of travel during this time to prevent any health issues. If you still have to, make sure you are well aware of all the guidelines of your air carrier and the regulations of the country you are travelling to. For more such stories, stay tuned!