New Delhi: With Covid-19 cases declining steadily, regular international flights are expected to resume on March 15, PTI reported quoting government sources. Upon resumption, standard operating procedures effective at airports for foreign arrivals and departure would be followed.
“Given the consistent decline in Covid cases, a decision on resuming scheduled international flights has almost been arrived at by the Civil Aviation Ministry following consultation with the Health Ministry,” government sources said.
However, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is yet to make an official statement.
“Regular International flights is likely to resume from March 15. The Guidelines for International Arrivals, which came into effect from February 14, will be followed at airports for the passengers of these flights,” an official source said.
The DGCA has extended the ban on scheduled international commercial flights till February 28, 2022. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, such flights have been prohibited in India since March 23, 2020.
Since July 2020, special passenger flights have been operating between India and around 40 countries under air bubble arrangements.
India had announced plans to allow resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services from December 15. However, a spike in cases due to teh Omicron variant put paid to the plans.
With effect from February 14, the Health Ministry has released updated instructions for overseas arrivals, eliminating the necessary seven-day home quarantine and the requirement for an RT-PCR test on the eighth day.
Apart from uploading a negative RT-PCR report, taken 72 hours before the journey, there is an option to upload certificates of the completion of the full Covid vaccination schedule provided from countries on a reciprocal basis.
The demarcation of countries ‘at-risk’ and other countries has also been removed. Thus, the necessity to collect Covid samples at the port of entry and wait for the results from nations ‘at risk’ has been eliminated.
(With PTI Inputs)