What Are The Rules How Could This Impact You Here’s All You Need To Know
After two whole years of international flights being stopped due to a raging coronavirus pandemic, India is all set to resume services on Sunday, 27 March.
This comes at a time when countries across the world are reopening their borders to allow international flights, as the number of fresh cases are on decline in most nations.
What are the rules? How could this impact you? Here’s all you need to know.
Flights were operating to other countries during the pandemic, so why is this new?
Yes, flights were operating but they were all under the air bubble arrangement that was signed between specific countries. In most cases, limited number of flights, much lesser than the normal numbers, were allowed during the pandemic.
Which are some of the flight routes that are being added?
While the addition of flights will happen gradually, the following are some of the airlines that have announced the resumption of services:
Malaysia Airlines will resume 25 weekly flights from major cities across India
Polish Airlines too will resume flights from Delhi and Mumbai
The Dutch airline KLM will also resume regular flights to and from Delhi and Mumbai
Lufthansa will resume direct flights between Chennai-Frankfurt thrice a week like from before the pandemic.
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know
New C.D.C. guidelinesHoping to prevent further disruptions to daily life, the C.D.C. reduced the period that certain infected Americans must sequester to five days from 10. This change applies only to those without symptoms, or those without fevers whose other symptoms are improving.
Staying safeThe recent Covid surge is prompting travel and event cancellations as we exit 2021. The Times asked experts to share some guidance on travel and gathering safely, as well as some tips on how and when to test and on using at-home virus tests and how to manage . Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus.
The Omicron variantThe highly transmissible variant appears to cause less-severe illness than that of previous forms of the virus, according to new studies. Research also suggests that many non-mRNA vaccines offer almost no defense against infection. The Pfizer and Moderna boosters, which are mRNA-based, most likely provide strong protection.
Around the worldGlobally, thousands of flights were canceled as the Omicron variant began to affect airline crews. In Israel, trials have begun to test the effectiveness of a fourth dose of the vaccine. India is expanding its Covid vaccination drive to include everyone 15 and up and is making health workers and some older people eligible for booster shots as the country prepares for another Covid wave.
The C.D.C. risk assessment for Covid-19 is Level 3: High.
According To The New Summer Schedule Foreign Airlines Will Operate 1783 Weekly Flights While Indian Carriers Will Operate 1466 Departures Every Week
Scheduled international flight services resumed in India on Sunday, two years after a ban was imposed on most foreign flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reacting to the development, Union Civil Aviation Min Jyotiraditya Scindia said that this will help connect India with the world.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, six Indian airlines and 60 foreign airlines will start connecting India with 63 countries from today onwards. According to the new summer schedule, foreign airlines will operate 1,783 weekly flights, while Indian carriers will operate 1,466 departures every week. Market leader IndiGo will operate 505 departures per week, followed by Tata Group-owned Air India at 361 weekly flights, and its subsidiary Air India Express at 340 flights per week. The summer schedule refers to the period between March 27 until October 29.
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Democratic Republic Of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo reopened its borders in August 2020. It is perhaps best known for Virunga National Park, which reopened on April 1, 2021, and for being home to the mountain gorilla.
According to the U.S. Embassy, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to submit to an arrival COVID-19 test to enter the DRC, provided they have proof of vaccination and a negative pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of travel. A negative PCR test is still required to depart the DRC, regardless of vaccination status.
All unvaccinated international travelers age 11 and older must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their departure to the DRC. Upon arrival, unvaccinated travelers age 11 and older must take a second COVID-19 test at the airport. Travelers should register their information and pay for the test at inrbcovid.com before they begin their travel. Arriving passengers must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result, usually within 24 hours.
Americans need a visa to visit as well as a WHO card with proof of yellow fever vaccination and proof of health and medical evacuation insurance valid in the DRC. Unvaccinated travelers may also need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days for travel between certain provinces.
Masks are required in public indoor and outdoor spaces.
India To Resume Regular International Flights From 27 March
1 min read.Meghna Sen
- Given the consistent decline in Covid-19 cases, the decision to resume scheduled international flights after a two years hiatus due to coronavirus has been taken
|Listen to this article|
Regular international flight operations will resume from 27 March and will follow the standard operating procedures effective at Indian airports for foreign arrivals and departure, the government said on Tuesday.
Given the consistent decline in Covid-19 cases, the decision to resume scheduled international flights after a two years hiatus due to coronavirus has been taken by the civil aviation ministry.
“After having recognised the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with the stakeholders, the government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services,” the ministry of civil aviation said in a statement.
In a statement, the MoCA said that international operations from 27 March will be subject to strict adherence to Union health ministry guidelines that were issued on 10 February.
“After having recognised the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India from March 27, 2022, i.e. start of summer schedule 2022,” it said.
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What Are The Quarantine Rules In Place
Travellers from specified countries at risk will follow the protocol as detailed below:
- Submit sample for post-arrival RT-PCR COVID-19 test at the point of arrival . Such travellers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.
- If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days, re-test on the 8th day of quarantine and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days.
- However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples will be sent for genomic testing at the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium laboratory network.
Travellers from other countries , will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post arrival. A sub-section shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.
- The 5% of such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines .
- Such travellers shall be escorted by the concerned airlines to testing area on arrival.
- Laboratories shall prioritise testing of samples from such travellers.
- If such travellers are tested positive, they shall be managed as per laid down standard protocol and samples would further send for genomic testing.
When Will International Flights Resume What We Know So Far
It was only recently when Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that regular international flights will be started when India’s domestic traffic reaches about 50-60 percent and other countries open up to international traffic without present conditionalities. “Once the situation evolves in that direction, we will consider a calibrated opening,” he had said in a tweet.
In a press conference as well, Puri had said that resumption of the international flights would depend on other countries to be open to receive flights. “Any suggestion that international traffic has opened up and we are the only one not to open up needs reality check. The exact time when we will resume international flights depends on the other countries to be open to receive flights,” he had said.
Further, the minister said in the absence of a decision on the resumption of international civil aviation, “we are left with no option but to continue what I call evacuation and repatriation flights under managed and controlled condition.”
Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola too echoed similar concerns before the opening up of international flights. “Both ends have to be ready and there has to be traffic if international operations have to begin. “There is a significant amount of traffic between India and the North American continent. We may think of opening flights on a case to case basis,” he had said.
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When Will International Travel Resume Has Been The Question For Many Ever Since The Travel Restrictions Were Implemented Read More Details Inside
Amid the ongoing speculations surrounding the resumption of international flight operations, the Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola recently stated to a news portal that the government may consider restoring services on a case to case basis. India resumed its domestic flight services on May 25, 2020, after a hiatus of two months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But, no definitive details about international travel have been revealed yet.
International Flights Resume At Regina Airport
The first international flight in almost two years took off from the Regina International Airport on Friday morning.
International flights were grounded in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Earl Spencer, vice president of operations and safety at YQR, said seeing international travel from Regina is great for the airport and the community.
Were just excited, Spencer said. Now we can get a flight to a sun destination and return so its just great. Its been a long time.
According to YQR, about 90 residents were on the direct flight to Peurto Vallarta Friday.
Some travellers who spoke to CTV News said they couldnt wait to get on the plane.
It means things are getting better and things are opening, said Kym Benz who travels calls herself a frequent traveller.
Rochelle Edwards, who flys to Mexico once a year, said she is very excited, but also a little nervous because of how rapidly the COVID-19 situation can change.
Just a bit comprehensive with everything. Will we make it back? Edwards wondered.
Travellers had to show their proof of vaccination before getting on the flight. The airport added different airlines and countries would also require different documentation regarding COVID-19.
Spencer said every traveller coming back into Canada will need the ArriveCAN app.
Before you leave Canada, before you leave REGINA, be sure to download the ArriveCAN app, Spencer said. The federal government app process customs quicker.
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Australia To Lift Travel Ban From November International Flights To Resume Soon
Australia has announced plans to lift the travel ban for international flights arriving from overseas countries from November after a prolonged period of 18 months as the nation imposed some of the toughest restrictions to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The decision comes as nearly 80 per cent of the population aged 16 and older have been fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday. However, no official date has been announced yet welcoming international tourists back.
Australians have had to argue for rare exemptions from the travel restrictions, among the most stringent any democracy in the world imposed on March 20 last year. Many people failed to reach relatives’ death beads, missed funerals and weddings simply because Australia was trying to keep the Covid-19 disease at bay.
The only exceptions to the travel ban were government employees and essential workers but tourism was never accepted as a reason to cross the border.
We’ve saved lives. We’ve saved livelihoods, but we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country, Morrison said, as quoted by Associated Press.
New South Wales is expected to become the first state to reach the 80 per cent vaccination benchmark while Sydney’s airport will be the first to resume international flights, the Australian prime minister said.
At the same time, those fully vaccinated will be able to quarantine at home and for only a week.
A News Report Said Final Decision On Resumption Of Regular International Flights Is Yet To Be Taken Though
Aviation Ministry is in talks with home and health ministries on resuming regular international flights, said a news report on Wednesday.
Current ban on scheduled international flights, imposed due to Covid, is valid until February 28.
Government is conidering resuming by March-April, reported CNBC TV-18.
The report said final decision on resumption of regular is yet to be taken.
The scheduled international passenger flight ban has been in place in India since March 23, 2020. However, special passenger flights have been operating between India and approximately 40 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with them.
India currently has air transport bubbles with Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, US and Uzbekistan.
Last week, the Ministry of Health issued a statement and informed that besides uploading negative RT-PCR report , the option to upload certificate of completing full primary vaccination schedule of COVID-19 vaccination provided from countries on a reciprocal basis.
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Which Foreigners Can Fly To India Now
The following categories of foreigners will be allowed to enter India:
- All Overseas Citizen of India cardholders and PIO cardholders holding passports of any country.
- All foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose except those on Tourist Visa.
- All existing visas, except electronic visas , Tourist visa and Medical Visa, which remained suspended, shall stand restored with immediate effect.
- If the validity of such a visa has expired, the foreign national may obtain a fresh visa of appropriate category/sub-category from the Indian Mission/Post concerned.
- In the case of Medical Visa , foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment in emergencies may be granted Medical visa for appropriate period by the Indian Missions/Posts.
What About The Hospitality Industry
Many states and union territories of India like Puducherry, Kerala, Goa, and Northeastern states depend highly upon tourism for their economies. The state governments had started to relax restrictions on a few hospitality and tourism facilities, but the recent discovery of the Omicron variant has made the government backtrack.
Most of the hotels, restaurants, temples, entertainment centres, and beaches are open. Interstate travel to most states has been open to non-essential purposes. Some hotels and restaurants are providing only takeaway and delivery, with many dine-in being allowed in some states with restrictions. It is likely that the hospitality and tourism department will need to gear up for a more cautious operation.
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What Will Air Travel Look Like This Summer
Experts say there will be some reopening of international flight routes this summer, but efforts will likely be piecemeal. If we see meaningful progress made during April and May, and if signals are pointing in the right direction, we may see restrictions be relaxed or removed by July, Harteveldt says.
Additionally, vaccine inequality is proving to have a major role in which countries can ethically and logistically be accessed by tourists. Given the vast differences in how fast vaccines are rolling out in different countries, we should expect a fairly asymmetrical return to travel, says Lauren Uppink, head of aviation, travel, and tourism at the World Economic Forum. We should also expect to see a situation where countries farther along with vaccinations start to operate more routes between themselves,” as well as “more stringent restrictions for individuals traveling from worse affected areas, she says.
That practice is already underway. Iceland, for instance, recently became the first European country to open its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. tourists. Airlines have responded in kind: Delta recently added a host of new daily summer flights from the U.S. to Reykjavík. It’s a trend that could continue in various regions throughout the year. Its possible that we may see other countries reopen their borders to vaccinated U.S. travelers, says Harteveldt.