Here is What You Need to Know About Domestic Flight Operations Resuming Today

From guidelines for passengers to which states are currently operating flights, here is what you need to know
Domestic flights in India resumed today
Domestic flights in India resumed today

India&rsquos air space opened up for domestic flights today with the first flight from Delhi to Pune, after a two-month-long break. All flights were suspended on March 25 after the government imposed a nation-wide lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

As of today, domestic flight operations have resumed in various states across the country. However, certain states will allow the beginning of operations gradually. Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal will begin their operations on May 26 and May 28, respectively. Chennai will only allow a maximum of 25 arrivals however, there is no limit on number of departures. Other airports in Tamil Nadu will operate on the same capacity as other parts of the country. Mumbai has also permitted only limited flights as per an approved one-third schedule. 

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines for both domestic as well as international arrivals. Along with the mandatory installation of the Aarogya Setu app, face masks are essential and social distancing has to be followed at all times. For domestic travellers, the concerned agencies will make sure to provide a list of do&rsquos and don&rsquots along with their tickets. Announcements for precautionary measures about COVID-19 that will be made at airports, railways stations, bus terminals and in flights, trains and buses, have to be followed. There will no longer be any in-flight meals either. All states and UTs have to ensure thermal screenings of passengers and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the flight/train or bus. Airports, railway stations and bus terminals will have to ensure social distancing along with regularly disinfecting all terminals and ensuring availability of soaps and sanitisers. All exit points will also have thermal screening facilities and only asymptomatic passengers will be permitted to go. However, they have to self-monitor their health for 14 days. In case of any symptoms either the national call centre or the district surveillance has to be informed. Passengers with moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to COVID facilities and those with mild symptoms can either self-isolate at home or at the COVID care centres. The guidelines also provide for states to develop their own protocols regarding quarantine and isolation as per their assessment. 

The Ministry also issued guidelines for international arrivals which involves giving a compulsory undertaking for undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine before boarding. Travellers also need to have the Aarogya Setu app. After thermal screening, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board and those coming in via land borders will only be permitted if asymptomatic. Frequent sanitisation and disinfection will also be ensured at airports as well as in flight, along with ensuring social distancing while boarding and de-boarding. Health officials at the airport will carry out thermal screenings upon arrival and those symptomatic will be isolated immediately. The others will be institutionally quarantined for 7 days and will be tested as per ICMR protocols. 

Outlook Traveller