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Govt issues SOPs for international travel amid COVID-19 outbreak

Based on the registrations received for Vande Bharat flights, the External Affairs Ministry will prepare flight database of all such travellers, including details such as name, age, gender, mobile phone number, place of residence, place of final destination

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | August 23, 2020 | Updated 18:02 IST
Govt issues SOPs for international travel amid COVID-19 outbreak
Crew and staff, who have tested COVID-19 negative, will be allowed to operate non-scheduled flights

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued standard operation protocol (SOP) for international travel on non-scheduled flights under Vande Bharat mission and air transport bubble arrangement.

As per the SOPs, anyone who is willing to travel to India on Vande Bharat flights will have to register themselves with the Indian missions in the country where they are stranded or residing, along with necessary details as prescribed by Ministry of External Affairs.

However, such registration will not require on flights operating under air transport bubbles arrangements, the SOP said.

Further, crew and staff, who have tested COVID-19 negative, will be allowed to operate non-scheduled flights.

As per the guidelines, priority will be given to those in distress, for example, workers or labourers who have been laid off, short term visa holders faced with an expiry of visas, persons with medical emergency/ pregnant women and elderly persons or those required to return to India due to death of a family member, and students.

The cost of travel, as specified by the carrier, will be borne by such travellers.

Based on the registrations received for Vande Bharat flights, the External Affairs Ministry will prepare flight database of all such travellers, including details such as name, age, gender, mobile phone number, place of residence, place of final destination; and information on RT-PCR test taken and its result.

It will then share the database with respective state and union territory in advance.

For outbound flights, the category of persons, who will be eligible to travel on non-scheduled flights, will be permitted by the home ministry. In this case, a passenger will have to apply to civil aviation ministry or to an agency designated under this ministry, along with necessary details, including the places of departure and arrival. Later, the Ministry of Civil Aviation will display on its website the category of persons eligible to travel out of India.

Before the tickets of such persons are confirmed, the airline concerned will ensure that the destination country allows entry of such persons with a valid visa in that country.

The conditions, if any, imposed by the destination country, will have to be fulfilled by the person intending to travel.

Also read: Sonia Gandhi responds to Congress leaders' letter; says ready to step down as party president

Also read: Coronavirus impact: Gold ETFs now hold more precious metal than any central bank

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