Updated: December 15, 2021 6:03:23 am
The Centre has mandated pre-booking of RT-PCR tests for passengers arriving from ‘at-risk’ countries or those who have been in such countries in the preceding 14 days. This is on the lines of the norms in the UK, where arriving flyers must pre-book RT-PCR tests, sans which they aren’t allowed to board flights to British airports.
However, as per Indian rules, passengers won’t be denied boarding if they do not have the pre-booking. It will be the responsibility of the airline to register the passenger for pre-booking.
In India, the system would be implemented with effect from December 20 for those arriving into six airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad — in the first phase.
“Air Suvidha portal would be modified to allow the passengers to mandatorily pre-book the RT-PCR test if they are coming from the countries ‘at risk’ or have visited ‘at risk’ countries in the last 14 days … to stabilise the system and to ensure that the passengers would not have any problem in pre-booking, payment, etc, it may be implemented in six metro cities, namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in the first phase,” according to a Civil Aviation Ministry memo.
According to the Health Ministry, the list of ‘at risk’ nations includes those in Europe, like the United Kingdom, as well as
South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Israel.
“DGCA is requested to issue advisory to all airlines to check mandatory pre-booking of their passengers before boarding the flight. In case any passenger is having any difficult in pre-booking, they may not be denied boarding, but it would be the responsibility of the airlines to identify and accompany such passengers to the registration counter at the airport for testing,” the memo noted.
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