Traveling To India And In India During Covid 19: Domestic And International Travel Guidelines
As the world is going through one of the biggest pandemics Covid-19, the way of life is changing. People need to adapt to the new rules in almost every sphere of life. One of the things that are affected the most is traveling. For three months almost, traveling internationally was completely prohibited. But, now of late, traveling is again getting normalized as both domestic and international traveling is slowly getting allowed. Domestic flights are allowed whereas; international flights are still prohibited up till 31st august 2020.
But, even if traveling is getting allowed, there are some strict rules and regulations that need to be followed. Rules are imposed not only on the travelers but also on the airports and aviation companies and staff. It is on the people and aviation staff to make sure that they follow the rules and fulfill the requirements properly.
What are the Guidelines for international passengers?
International flights from India are prohibited and are stalled till 31st august. But, International flights are arriving in India and there are some mandatory guidelines that are imposed by MOHFW. One will have to follow these rules properly.
Some of these guidelines include:
- Self-declaration: International visitors need to provide a self-declaration form to the website of newdelhiairport.in within 72 hours before departing. This necessity is a compulsion for all the passengers entering India.
- The undertaking of quarantine: Travelers need to submit an undertaking as well at the newdelhiairport.in, which will state that the traveler will follow the 14 day quarantine period. The First 7 days of the quarantine will be at the government institution for which the traveler will have to pay for and the next 7 days will be at home. Also, the cost of quarantine will be borne by the traveler.
- Arogya setu app: Another do’s for the traveler coming to India, is that they should download the Arogya Setu App which will provide the traveler with the needed list of do’s and don’ts.
- Boarding: only those passengers will be boarding the flight that is asymptomatic and otherwise not.
- Masks and social distancing: While one is traveling it is very crucial to keep the masks on and social distancing should be maintained at all times. Also, keep listening to the announcements that are done in the airport and during the flight to keep oneself aware.
- Onboard self-declaration: In case any passenger had not filled the self-declaration online before boarding the flight, should fill the same while on a flight. A copy of each will be provided to the passengers on board. After landing, a copy of the self-declaration will have to be submitted to the health and migration official present at the airport.
- On arrival: On arrival, each and every passenger will have to go through the thermal screening and social distancing should be maintained at all times. If any passenger is found to be symptomatic then they will be taken to isolation immediately.
- Repatriation: Indian aviation has allowed running special flights which will be only for the repatriation citizens traveling from south-east Asia and Gulf.
What are the Guidelines for domestic passengers?
As the international outgoing flights are still prohibited, the domestic flights are working. However, the situation is not like before anymore. There are several rules and guidelines that the airports need to follow according to the MHA. According to the guidelines, the airports are told to lower the flight schedules and decrease the traffic in the airport as much as possible.
There are certain guidelines that need to be followed by domestic passengers while traveling in the country:
- Baggage: For the travelers, one check-in baggage and one cabin baggage (handbag or laptop bag) are allowed. Also, the baggage check-in is done through the online portal to avoid person to person contact as per the NDMA. Passengers can note down the ticket PNR and name or can take the printout of the tag while checking in and paste it to the bags.
- Thermal scanning: All the passengers must go through the thermal scanning to make sure that they are not infected or are not running a high temperature. Those who will show any symptom will be taken into isolation. Also, it is requested to the passengers to follow the protocol and help the authorities to complete the procedures.
- Arogya setu: The Arogya Setu App will be used for identity people coming from high alert containment zones. Also, those who are traveling from containment zones won't be allowed to board.
- Food: The flights will not be serving any meals. Passengers can carry dry items but should avoid eating any food inside the flight. Also, airport restaurants will remain closed. In the case of connecting flights, the food will be available in the transit areas only.
- Safety kits: Passengers are requested to keep proper social distancing and should also make sure that they are maintaining sanitizing steps. Also, the sanitizing kit will be availed to the passengers which will include sanitizer, face shields, and masks.
What are the few things to keep in mind?
There are few things that one should know of while traveling to India or within India.
1. Quarantine exemption: Quarantining for 14 days for all international passengers is a must. However, in some cases, the passengers can get an exemption to stay at home during all the 14 days time period. The passengers need to show proper documentation supporting the cause along with the exemption application to the authorities. Such cases are:
- Suffering from any ailment
- Have children under the age of 10
- Suffered any recent death
- Have a valid covid-19 negative test
2. Details for self-declaration: There are a few things that are required while filling a self-declaration form. The required details include:
- Valid email address (self-declaration form will be sent to this address)
- Scan of passport (self-declaration application needs to be attached with it)
- Payments details (to pay for self-declaration form)
3. Covid 19 test: Every passenger flying from any country to India need to get a Covid 19 test done. This test must be done within the 96 hours prior to filling the self-declaration form. Also, the negative results report is to be attached to the form.
4. Process of self-declaration: One will have to fill and send a self-declaration application and negative test results of Covid 19 and passport scan on the portal along with fees. After that, a copy will be sent to the provided email address. This copy needs to be carried while traveling to be shown to the airport authorities.
As the world is slowly going back to normal, citing factors like the slumping economy and losing jobs. It is crucial that one should pay attention to the safety regulations and precautions while traveling. This will not only keep the passengers safe but all will keep the co-passengers safe. One should take note of every small to big details that are posted on government portals to know the process of traveling during Covid 19.