Amid a dangerous resurge of COVID-19 cases in India, airport authorities have issued some strict protocols and rules to be adhered to by all passengers and employees. Here are some of the new flying rules:
1. Restrictions on International Flights
Due to the new virus strains found in countries such as the UK, South Africa, and Brazil, the health ministry has introduced more constraints on people flying in from these places. Passengers need a negative COVID report and also get tested in India on arrival. Air India and Vistara are permitted to operate 15 flights between India and the UK till April.
2. Spot Fines for Rule Violations
The DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has issued firm regulations urging passengers to wear masks and maintain social distancing or face fines. Masks need to be worn above the nose at all times during the duration of the journey. Commuters may be de-boarded or banned for 3-24 months if found defying the rules.
3. Restrictions in Cities and States
State leaders have become wary of rising infections and have issued fresh restrictions for entry to the states. Travellers will require a negative RT-PCR report to travel to Bangalore. However, this rule is not applicable to people travelling to the rest of Karnataka. Certain states have made a negative COVID report mandatory for entry, these states include – Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan. Moreover, Delhi has started random testing of passengers at the airport.
4. A Rise in Flight Fares
The aviation industry is already under a lot of pressure due to the pandemic and has incurred huge losses. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has increased the air security fee which will make air travel costlier from April 1 for travellers. The rise in fare is Rs 40 for domestic passengers and Rs 114.38 for international travellers.