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In the fourth phase of lockdown, the Indian government has announced significant relaxations on the movement of citizens within the country, the latest of which is the resumption of air travel. On May 20, the Minister for Civil Aviation announced that domestic flights will resume on May 25 in a phased manner, after a gap of two months. However, in light of the ongoing health crisis posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, here are certain guidelines that you will have to adhere to, if you are planning on taking a flight after May 25.
The following are some of the important guidelines issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for passengers. The full text of the guidelines can be found here.
1. Passengers can use only their private vehicles or authorized taxi cab services for movement to and fro the airports.
2. Passengers must use the web check-in facility, obtain a boarding pass and download the baggage tag or baggage identification number prior to arrival at the airport.
3. Passengers must arrive at the airport two hours prior to their scheduled departure, and must wear a mask before entering the terminal.
4. All passengers are required to download the Aarogya Setu app. Only those passengers who have a ‘green status’ on the app will be allowed through the airport’s entry gates.
5. All passengers will have to go through thermal screening before entering the airport terminal. Passengers who show symptoms like a high fever, coughing or difficulty in breathing will not be allowed to proceed into the airport. Moreover, those residing in containment zones, and those who have tested positive for Covid-19 should not travel either.
6. Passengers are advised not to use trolleys unless absolutely necessary. One cabin baggage and one check-in baggage allowed per passenger.
7. Passengers must follow social distancing norms at the terminal, and complete their baggage drop and check-in procedure at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
8. After the security check, passengers must seat themselves in adherence to social distancing norms, and not use seats marked ‘not for use’.
9. At the boarding gates, passengers will board the aircraft in batches according to their seating, so that there is minimal interaction between the passengers on the craft. Social distancing must be followed even at food and beverage outlets and retail outlets.
10. Within the aircraft, passengers should minimize movement. Queuing at the lavatories is prohibited, and only one companion will allowed for children and elderly wishing to use the lavatory.
11. No refreshments other than water will be served on the flight. Moreover, the sale of newspapers, magazines and other items is also prohibited on the flight.
12. When disembarking at the destination airport, passengers will exit the aircraft in sequential batches.
13. Social distancing norms are to be followed at arrival gates and at the baggage collection area.
14. Transit passengers will not be permitted to exit the transit area.