The return of commercial international flights, which was set for December 15, is likely to be postponed, as officials appear to be preparing to put the brakes on in light of the new Covid version Omicron’s appearance. Incoming travellers, particularly those from “at risk” countries, are already subjected to a stringent regimen of screening and quarantine at airports across the country.
“In view of the merging global scenario… the situation is being watched closely in consultation with all stakeholders and an appropriate decision indicating the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services shall be notified in due course,” said a note from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation today, indicating that the current “air bubble” system of operation will continue.
As the destructive effects of the second wave, propelled by the Delta form of the virus, began to fade, Omicron appears.
Offices were reopening, shops and movie theatres were reopening, schools were closing, local airlines were operating at full capacity, and foreign flights were on the verge of returning to normal.
The government said on November 26 that scheduled international commercial flights would resume on December 15.
For more than 20 months, international commercial aviation operations were halted, and passenger flights were operated under a bubble arrangement, in which two or more countries agreed to allow planes into each other’s territories under specified conditions.
However, limits were reinstated almost immediately.
The Center released a set of instructions for airports this morning, including pre-arrival testing for travellers from more than 50 “at risk” countries. To get out of the airport, you’ll need a negative outcome.
A random sample of 2% of travellers arriving from other countries will be evaluated as well. They are allowed to leave before the results are announced, but must remain in home isolation for at least a week and report any Covid-related symptoms, according to the new rules.
Several airports, on the other hand, have issued their own policies, causing a rift between the Centre and the Maharashtra government.
Six international passengers travelling from ‘at risk’ countries tested positive for Covid this morning, according to Maharashtra. The samples have been sent to be sequenced.
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