After almost 5 months of lockdown, a few domestic and international flights have resumed operations in many countries under air bubble arrangements. While tourism is still not welcomed by countries yet, the flights are operating mainly for repatriation purposes. Traveling abroad by air is possible now, however, one has to follow new guidelines of the countries they are traveling from and their destination country.
Tourism still remains closed for many countries as there are still restrictions imposed on the operations of hotels, restaurants, etc. Moreover, traveling to most cities and every country at this time requires one to undergo quarantine for up to 14 days. Therefore, tourists wouldn’t want to visit a different country only to have themselves quarantined for so many days. However, the UAE has opened its borders for tourism and is welcoming business visas, student visas, and work visa holders from several countries.
Travel during the pandemic is entirely at the risk of the traveler considering the existing restrictions on international travel. So, for all those who are planning to travel abroad by air, here are the new guidelines you should be aware of to avoid last-moment shocks and surprises. Cases have been filed on many individuals for not following guidelines, it is better to check with guidelines before. You can also check for California appellate attorneys
If you strictly follow these guidelines, your air travel will not only be smooth but also safe for you and others.
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Who can travel at the moment?
As of now, countries aren’t offering tourist visas, therefore, it is impossible for tourists to travel to other countries. The repatriation flights are operating mainly to facilitate transport for Diplomats and Overseas Citizens who are stuck in a different country. For instance, in India, Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders and Diplomats are allowed to fly to and from countries that have an agreement with India. Various countries have lifted travel restrictions for people flying to and from India, under air transport bubble agreements.
Indian nationals who have a valid visa with at least one-month validity, except for tourist visas, can travel to the other country. People flying in and out of these countries need to go through medical checks and quarantine as per the rules of the particular country. Therefore, every individual is required to verify the procedure and check the regulations before making bookings.
What are air transport bubble agreements?
Air bubble agreements are temporary arrangements between countries that are looking to restart commercial passenger services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the transport bubbles arrangements, airlines from the countries that have had the agreements will enjoy similar benefits and have to follow a set of restrictions and regulations. In the case of India, the air bubble agreements have been made with 13 countries such as the US, the UK, France, Canada, Germany, the UAE, and the Maldives. Furthermore, India is also trying to extend its air bubble arrangement with more countries.
What are the new guidelines for traveling abroad?
Every country has implemented a set of guidelines and regulations to be followed while traveling abroad. While these guidelines will mostly be similar for every country, the regulations may also differ depending on the country. However, the general guidelines to be aware of when planning to travel abroad are as follows:
While Planning to Travel:
- Check travel recommendations for your destination and the cases in the last 7 days.
- All the travelers are required to submit an online self-declaration form at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel.
- Travelers should submit an undertaking to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days at their own cost, including 7-day isolation at home.
- Home quarantine may be permitted for passengers with kids below 10 years of age or for reasons such as pregnancy, serious illness, or death in the family.
- The above exemption will be permitted if the passengers apply online at least 72 hours before boarding.
Before Boarding a Flight:
- Only asymptomatic passengers will be permitted to board the flight and cross the international borders.
- Travelers in India are required to install the Aarogya Setu app. While it is not mandatory for other travelers, however, it is advisable to download the app.
- Passengers have to wear masks, gloves, and face shields at all times at the airport.
- The limit to carry hand-sanitizers is increased to allow passengers to carry a sufficient amount of hand sanitizer.
- While at the airport and during boarding, passengers should practice social distancing measures at all times.
- Only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board the flight after undergoing a thermal screening.
- Passengers who have not filled the online self-declaration form will have to fill the form of the flight, a copy of which will be submitted to the Health and Immigration officials at the airport.
- The seating of passengers on the flight is required to be arranged according to social distancing norms.
- Passengers have to keep wearing masks, gloves, and face shields while traveling on a flight.
- Travelers and airline staff are also required to maintain environmental hygiene, hand hygiene, and respiratory hygiene.
- Passengers are advised to avoid touching the nose, eyes, and mouth, and also to avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- It is also advised to wash your hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Passengers should maintain social distancing while deboarding the plane.
- Thermal screening will be carried out by the health officials at the airport. A copy of the self-declaration form filled online is required to be submitted to the health staff at the airport.
- Travelers found symptomatic during the thermal screening will be isolated immediately and taken to a medical facility.
- After the thermal screening, passengers that are exempted from institutional quarantine will have to show the decision to the respective State Counter.
- The other passenger will be guided to suitable institutional quarantine facilities. These passengers will have to stay under institutional quarantine for a minimum of 7 days and will be tested for COVID-19.
The Bottom Line
These guidelines are followed by most of the countries in addition to their own protocols and guidelines relating to isolation and quarantine. All passengers flying abroad are required to follow these guidelines strictly to ensure safe travel for themselves as well as fellow passengers.
Airlines are not serving food on the flight at the moment, however, many are preparing to start serving food with the required hygiene and safety. Therefore, if you are traveling abroad by air, you can carry permitted eatables on the flight. With all the guidelines and regulations in place to ensure your safety, it is equally important for you to take extra precautions to keep yourself safe while traveling on a flight.
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