India will resume scheduled international flights from March 27, 2022, after the coronavirus-induced suspension, the union aviation ministry informed on Tuesday.
Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday, "After deliberation with stakeholders and keeping in view the decline in the COVID-19 caseload, we have decided to resume international travel from March 27 onwards."
Air bubble arrangements will also stand revoked thereafter, he said. "With this step, I am confident the sector will reach new heights," Scindia said.
"After having recognized the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with the stakeholders, the Government of India has decided to resume scheduled commercial international passenger services to/from India from 27.03.2022, i.e. start of Summer Schedule 2022," the aviation ministry said in a statement.
The suspension of scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India, thus, stands extended only up to 23:59 hrs (Indian standard time) on March 26, 2022, and air bubble arrangements shall accordingly be extended to this extent only, the ministry said.
Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 last year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Special passenger flights have been functioning between India and around 40 countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements.
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The Health Ministry has issued revised guidelines for international arrivals, with effect from February 14, doing away with the mandatory seven-day home quarantine and the need for them to undertake an RT-PCR test on the eighth day.
Apart from uploading a negative RT-PCR report, taken 72 hours before the journey, there is an option to upload certificates of the completion of the full primary Covid vaccination schedule provided from countries on a reciprocal basis. Also, the demarcation of countries ‘at-risk’ and other countries has been removed.
Accordingly, the need for giving samples on the port of arrival and waiting till the result is obtained from countries ‘at-risk’ has been dispensed with.