Updated: June 15, 2021 7:54:06 am
At least seven Indian states and union-territories are now allowing vaccinated air passengers to arrive into their respective jurisdictions without the previously-mandated negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test certificate. However, these relaxations are not over-arching and are subject to certain conditions.
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Which states/UTs are allowing vaccinated travellers and what are the conditions?
The states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha and the union territory of Chandigarh have allowed vaccinated travellers to be exempt from the RT-PCR certificate requirement. However, in case of Rajasthan, only the passengers in possession of final vaccination certificate (with two doses), and have completed 28 days after the second dose will be exempt from the RT-PCR requirement. In case of Punjab, the passengers need to be in possession of vaccination certificate of at least one dose, which is over two weeks old. Chandigarh also has a requirement similar to Punjab. For Odisha and Nagaland, passengers need a final vaccination certificate (with two doses) to be exempted from the RT-PCR requirement. In case of Meghalaya, passengers arriving from any state except Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala shall be exempt from RT-PCR requirement if in possession of valid final certificate of vaccination. The information of various state requirements was compiled by IndiGo, and is current as of June 13.
Is there a central set of guidelines for vaccinated travellers?
The Central government is learnt to have been working on issuing a set of guidelines for vaccinated passengers to be exempt from RT-PCR requirements, but government officials have said that the decision to exempt passengers from these regulations ultimately lies with the respective state governments.
What does this mean for domestic aviation industry?
Airline officials have often indicated that the recovery of the industry will depend, among other factors, on the vaccination of the population. In the IndiGo earnings call held on June 7, its CEO Ronojoy Dutta said: “We are hopeful that with the reducing trend in Covid cases and the increased pace of vaccination, passenger confidence and airline traffic will gain further momentum by early July”. On June 12, the number of daily passengers travelling on domestic flights exceeded the 1 lakh-mark for the first time since May, indicating a gradual uptick in passenger numbers.
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