Centre eases Covid rules as int'l flights resume tomorrow. Details here
- The Centre has relaxed several Covid rules for crew members and passengers including wearing of PPE kits, pat-down search of passengers etc.
The scheduled international passenger flights are all set to resume from Sunday, after more than two years of pandemic-infused ban on air travel in and out of the country. The Centre has announced several relaxations to the existing Covid-19 regulations at airports and on flights.
According to the new rules by the ministry of civil aviation, cabin crew members are no longer needed to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and security personnel at airports can resume pat-down search of passengers, wherever needed.
Airlines also need not keep three seats vacant on international flights for medical emergencies, the government announced.
The Centre has relaxed these rules to facilitate a "smooth conduct of air operations" as the number of coronavirus infections continue to dip along with high level of vaccinations, read a recent ministry order.
However, wearing of protective face masks and maintenance of hand hygiene/sanitiser is still mandatory at airports and on flights, the Centre said.
"Airlines may carry a few additional PPE protective gears, sanitiser and N-95 masks, to handle any respiratory infections related to cases on air, for passengers as well as the crew," the ministry further noted.
The aviation market in India is still recovering from the Omicron-led slump that suppressed the travel demands in January.
In February, around 76.96 lakh domestic passengers travelled by air, approximately 20 per cent more than in January.
India had suspended scheduled international flights on March 23, 2020. Flights were resumed again in July that year by means of a so-called air bubble arrangement with 37 countries through which flights were allowed in a limited manner.
The government had also allowed full domestic flight operations from October 18, 2021.
India recorded 1,660 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday and 4,100 fatalities, including backlog deaths. The country has been recording less than 2,000 cases and 100 deaths in a day for nearly a week.
Meanwhile, new threats of a highly transmissible variant have started emerging after a fresh increase of infections in China and several European countries.