Omicron: Despite World Health Organisation (WHO) making it clear that Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19 is not as dangerous as the Delta variant, countries are not taking any chances and are gearing for the next wave of pandemic, which includes restrictions, lockdowns and travel bans. In this process India has announce that it has decided to ban all international passenger flights banned till January 31, 2022.
Why has India taken such a decision? Is it not going to affect the economy which is slowly recovering after two deadly waves of Covid pandemic? “In the view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of new variants of concern, 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 will be notified in due course,” says DGCA statement.
India will retain its ban on scheduled international passenger flights in place until January 31, the aviation regulator DGCA announced. Earlier there was an update that international flights from India are unlikely to start from December 15! But due to the Omicron threat, officials are planning to continue the ban on scheduled international passenger flights until January 31.
Travellers who are from the ‘at-risk’ countries need to be extra careful and thus they have to submit particulars of travel history dating back 14 days before the date of arrival. Also, a negative RT-PCR report is compulsory. These details may get additional uploaded on the Air Suvidha portal. The United Kingdom, other countries in Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Israel have all been designated as ‘at-risk’ by India. Singapore and Bangladesh have been removed from the list now!
All the travellers who were tested negative are firmly advised to follow the home quarantine for a minimum of seven days. They are also suggested to do a Covid-19 test on the eighth day. Travellers with positive reports will be taken to a separate isolation facility and the reports will be sent to genome sequencing. Airlines will conduct indiscriminate Covid-19 testing of two per cent of the travellers flying to India from ‘at risk’ countries according to the Union government’s instructions.