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Air travel norms revised; no more Air Suvidha forms for international passengers

Negative RT-PCR and vaccination details too have been discontinued

air travel airport (File) International passengers being screened at Chennai airport | PTI

Revising rules for international passengers, the government on Monday scrapped the requirement to fill out the Air Suvidha form. This comes amid the declining number of Covid cases in India and all over the world. 

Henceforth, passengers flying into India from foreign countries will not have to submit a negative RT-PCR report or details of the primary vaccination schedule. The revised guidelines will be effective from November 22, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Last week, the civil aviation ministry said that the use of masks was not compulsory during air travel but preferable.

However, the new norms insist that all air travellers preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against Covid-19 in their country.

The MoHFW had revised the guidelines during the pandemic which required all international passengers to mandatorily fill up the Air Suvidha form. Besides, they also had to provide "details of negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report or submit details of full primary vaccination scheduled of Covid-19 vaccination." The guidelines also insisted that the tests be done within 72 hrs before undertaking the journey. 

Children under the age of 5 years were, however, exempted from both pre and post-arrival testing.

Thermal screenings

Despite the revisions, the passengers should ensure physical distancing, the MOHFW said on Monday. Health officials will be deputed at the point of entry to conduct thermal screening of all the arriving international passengers. 

"The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated, taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol," it said.

The government also insisted that all passengers self-monitor their health post-arrival. "They should report to their "nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ state helpline number in case they have any symptoms suggestive," it added.

Though the Covid cases have subsided, precautionary measures, including in-flight announcements about the pandemic, preferable use of masks and following physical distances, should be made in flights/ travel at all points of entry during air travel. It has also suggested the isolation of passengers having Covid symptoms as per protocol.

Meanwhile, India logged 406 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,46,69,421 while the active cases dipped to 6,402, as per official data on Monday.

The active cases comprise 0.01 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate increased to 98.80 per cent, according to the MOHFW website. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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