Air India to operate additional flights from Melbourne, Sydney

By Our Reporter
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Photo by Daniel Eledut on Unsplash

Air India will operate additional flights every Sunday between Delhi and Melbourne from 2nd January to 27th March 2022. It will also operate additional flights on the Delhi-Sydney-Delhi sector every Monday/Tuesday from 3rd January to 22nd March 2022.

In a post on Twitter, the airline said, “Bookings open through AI Website, Booking Offices, Call Centre & Authorised Travel Agents.

“Passengers should read the guidelines carefully before travelling & conform to all eligibility criteria. Air India will accept no liability in this regard.”

Please note it is mandatory to pre-book RT-PCR test through Air Suvidha portal if arriving from “AT RISK” countries or visited “AT RISK” countries in the last 14 days, it also said.

“AT RISK” countries are subject to change, latest updates available on http://mohfw.gov.in.”

Earlier, amid the fears and uncertainty of the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron), India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued fresh guidelines for international arrivals in supersession of all guidelines issued on the subject on and after 11th November 2021.

The new guidelines came into effect from December 1 and based on the risk assessment, shall be reviewed from time to time, it said.

Pic source: Twitter Air India @airindiain

★ What all travellers should do

Submit self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal (https://www.newdelhiairport.in/airsuvidha/apho-registration) before the scheduled travel, including last 14 days travel details.

Upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report*. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey.

Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise.

They should also give an undertaking on the portal or otherwise to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, through concerned airlines before they are allowed to undertake the journey that they would abide by the decision of the appropriate government authority to undergo home/institutional quarantine/ self-health monitoring, as warranted.

★ Before boarding

Passengers originating or transiting from at-risk countries shall be informed by the airlines that they will undergo post arrival testing, quarantine if tested negative, stringent isolation protocols if tested positive etc.

Do’s and Don’ts shall be provided along with ticket to the travellers by the airlines/agencies concerned.

Airlines to allow boarding by only those passengers who have filled in the Self Declaration Form on the Air Suvidha portal, uploaded the negative RT-PCR test report.

At the time of boarding the flight, only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board after thermal screening.

All passengers shall be advised to download Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices.

★ During travel

In-flight announcement about COVID-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports and in flights and during transit.

During in-flight crew shall ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour is followed at all times.

If any passenger reports symptoms of COVID-19 during flight, he/she shall be isolated as per protocol.

★ On arrival

De-boarding should be done ensuring physical distancing.

Thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport. The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.

The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility as per health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per laid down protocol.

Protocol for travellers from specified countries at risk (based on epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in those countries):

Submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test* at the point of arrival (self-paid). Such travellers will be required to wait for their test results at the arrival airport before leaving or taking a connecting flight.

If tested negative they will follow, home quarantine for 7 days. Re-test on the 8th day of arrival in India and if negative, further self-monitor of their health for next 7 days.

However, if such travellers are tested positive, their samples should be sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network.

They shall be managed at separate isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol including contact tracing.

The contacts of such positive case should be kept under institutional quarantine or at home quarantine monitored strictly by the concerned State Government as per laid down protocol.

Protocol for travellers from countries excluding those countries at risk:

They will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival. A sub-section (5% of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.

The 5% of such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries).

Such travellers shall be escorted by the concerned airlines/MoCA to testing area on arrival.

The cost of testing of such travellers shall be borne by MoCA.

Laboratories shall prioritize testing of samples from such travellers.

If such travellers are tested positive, they shall be managed as per laid down standard protocol and samples would further send for genomic testing.

For international travellers arriving at seaports/land ports:

They will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, except that facility for online registration is not available for such passengers currently.

Such travellers shall submit the self-declaration form to the concerned authorities of Government of India at seaports/land ports on arrival.

Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre- and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol.


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