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Govt scraps requirement to fill out Air Suvidha form, eases rules for international arrivals from today


The government on Monday scrapped the requirement to fill out Air Suvidha form for people flying into India from foreign countries amid a declining number of coronavirus cases. The revised guidelines for international arrivals will be effective from today, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

The requirement to submit a negative RT-PCR report or details of the primary vaccination schedule has also been done away with for international arrivals.

As per the MoHFW’s latest guidelines, air travellers should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their country.

The latest guidelines supersede the guidelines issued in September, wherein those arriving from foreign countries were required to submit the Air Suvidha form.

A notice issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday evening read, “In the light of sustained declining Covid-19 trajectory and significant advances being made in Covid-19 vaccination coverage both globally as well as in India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued revised ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ dated 21.11.2022 in context of Covid-19 pandemic, which are annexed.”

“In view of the aforementioned MoHFW revised guidelines, the extant guidelines of MoHFW on submission of self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal stand discontinued,” the statement further read.

The notification, however, mentioned a statutory warning that the rule could be reviewed, if needed in view of the Covid-19 situation.

On Monday, the MOHFW said that on arrival, the passengers should ensure physical distancing and thermal screening of all the arriving international passengers will be done by the health officials present at the point of entry.

“The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated, taken to a designated medical facility as per health protocol,” it said.

Further, the ministry said that all travellers should self-monitor their health post-arrival. They should report to their “nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/ state helpline number in case they have any symptoms suggestive,” it added.

According to the ministry, the present guidelines are being revised in light of the sustained declining COVID-19 trajectory and significant advances being made in COVID-19 vaccination coverage both globally as well as in India.

During air travel, the ministry said that in-flight announcements about the ongoing pandemic, including precautionary measures to be followed such as preferable use of masks and following physical distances, should be made in flights/ travel at all points of entry.

Any passenger having symptoms of coronavirus during travel should be isolated as per standard protocol, it added.

In the wake of the pandemic, scheduled domestic flight services were suspended for two months starting from March 25, 2020. Scheduled international flight services, which were also suspended on the same day, were restored only from March 27 this year.

*with inputs from agencies

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