New Delhi- The government on Monday scrapped the requirement to fill out Air Suvidha form for people flying into India from foreign countries amid a declining number of coronavirus cases.

The requirement to submit a negative RT-PCR report or details of the primary vaccination schedule has also been done away with for international arrivals.

The revised guidelines for international arrivals will be effective from November 22, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Earlier, the guidelines had required that passengers arriving in India from overseas should fill up the Air Suvidha form. The form was introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the civil aviation ministry said the use of masks is not compulsory during air travel but passengers should preferably use them.

As per the MoHFW’s latest guidelines, air travellers should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their country.

The latest guidelines supersede the guidelines issued in September, wherein those arriving from foreign countries were required to submit the Air Suvidha form.

They also had to provide “details of negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report (the test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey) or submit details of full primary vaccination scheduled of COVID-19 vaccination”, as per the earlier guidelines.

Only children under the age of 5 years were exempted from both pre and post-arrival testing, it had said.

On Monday, the MOHFW said that on arrival, the passengers should ensure physical distancing and thermal screening of all the arriving international passengers will be done by the health officials present at the point of entry.

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

Further, the ministry said that all travellers should 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.

According to the ministry, the present guidelines are being revised in light of the sustained declining COVID-19 trajectory and significant advances being made in COVID-19 vaccination coverage both globally as well as in India.

During air travel, the ministry said that in-flight announcements about the ongoing pandemic, including precautionary measures to be followed such as preferable use of masks and following physical distances, should be made in flights/ travel at all points of entry.

Any passenger having symptoms of coronavirus during travel should be isolated as per standard protocol, it added.

In the wake of the pandemic, scheduled domestic flight services were suspended for two months starting from March 25, 2020. Scheduled international flight services, which were also suspended on the same day, were restored only from March 27 this year.

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.   (PTI)


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