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Monday, July 06, 2020

Lockdown 5.0: Here’s what MHA guidelines say about resuming international flights

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had recently said that the resumption of international flights could be before August.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 31, 2020 5:37:30 pm
Here's what MHA guidelines say about resuming international flights The MHA guidelines stated that international air travel will be decided based on assessment of the situation in phase three of the reopening.

Issuing guidelines for the fifth phase of the lockdown, the Centre on Saturday extended the lockdown in containment zones till June 30 and released the roadmap for the reopening of prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside containment zones.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, the resumption of international air travel of passengers, except as permitted by the MHA, will be decided based on the assessment of the situation in phase 3.

International flights, Metro trains, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places shall remain out of bounds for now. Religious, political, and all other such congregations shall remain prohibited. This, however, will be eased in Phase III of this unlocking, after due consultations with stakeholders. Here’s what you must know in the lockdown 5.0

In the first phase of the unlocking, religious places, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and other hospitality services will be allowed with effect from June 8. Whereas in the second phase, schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions etc will be opened after consultation with States and UTs. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in July.

The aviation sector has been one of the worst-hit sectors during the coronavirus pandemic. However, while easing lockdowns, several countries have resumed air travel but with restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had recently said that the resumption of international flights could be before August. “We will try to start a good percentage of international passenger flights before August,” he had told reporters earlier.

EXPLAINED | The state of international air travel in India, and the world

Other than India, countries with complete air travel restrictions include Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Ukraine and Argentina, among others.

At present, Indian nationals from abroad can only enter the country through flights arranged by the Ministry of Civil Aviation through the Vande Bharat Mission. Passengers with an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card can enter provided they are coming to the country due to an emergency, such as a death in the family. University students whose parents are Indian nationals living in India can also enter.

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