The Gujarat government has ordered RT-PCR testing all passengers arriving at the airport from Europe, the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, Novel Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong due to concerns about the new coronavirus type.
After a 20-month ban due to the coronavirus, the government announced yesterday that scheduled international flights to and from India will resume on December 15. The Union Health Ministry has determined that countries identified ‘at risk’ of Covid-19 will be allowed to operate 50% of their scheduled passenger flights.
The European Union, including the United Kingdom, as well as South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel, have been placed in the ‘at-risk’ category, according to the Ministry of Health.
India’s decision to resume scheduled international passenger flights comes at a time when several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Singapore, Israel, France, and Italy, have imposed restrictions on air travel from southern Africa due to the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.
Furthermore, the Centre stated that if a country is classified as “at-risk” and does not have an air bubble agreement with India, it will be allowed to use “a maximum of 50 %t of bilateral capacity entitlements or 50 % of pre-COVID operations of an Indian or foreign carrier, whichever is higher.”
If a government wants to conduct scheduled passenger flights to another country, it must first negotiate a bilateral air services agreement that specifies how many airlines, ports of entry, and total flights (or seats) per week are permitted between the two countries.
If a country is identified as being “at risk” of COVID-19 but has an air bubble agreement with India, “75 % of pre-COVID scheduled international flight operations of an Indian or foreign carrier, whichever is higher, or a minimum of seven frequencies per week, subject to availability of entitlements under bilateral agreements will be permitted,” according to the Aviation Ministry.
The Aviation Ministry stated that countries who are not in the “at-risk” category will receive “full capacity entitlements based on bilateral air service agreements.”