The Government of India has started to ease the lockdown restrictions, which has been in place since March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The government may also start domestic air travel for people stuck in various parts of the country. According to a PTI report, the government is looking to “make it mandatory for people to have Aarogya Setu mobile application installed in their phones while taking a flight post-lockdown.”
“Preliminary discussions regarding making this app mandatory for air passengers have been done with the airlines,” government officials told PTI.
The report adds, that if the proposal gets approved by the Aviation ministry, passengers will be required to have the app installed and completely functional on their smartphones before being allowed to travel.
All commercial flights had been cancelled during the lockdown period and only cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights approved by the aviation regulator DGCA were being operated inside of the country.
The Aarogya Setu app uses a smartphone’s Bluetooth and location data to trace its user’s movement. This helps it keep a check on the user if they come in contact with a COVID-19 high-risk person. However, due to the app having access to so much sensitive data, people have been a bit skeptical about downloading it. However, Niti Aayog, CEO, Amitabh Kant in an interview with Aaj Tak recently, stated that the servers only keep the data of a safe user for 30 days while data of users at high-risk are stored for 60 days.
Indian Railways is also gradually resuming passenger train services. The Home Ministry has said that asymptomatic and confirmed ticket holders will be able to travel in trains amid the lockdown. Passengers as of now can only book tickets online using the IRCTC website and mobile app.
Passengers will have to reach the station 90 minutes in advance to be screened. They will be required to wear a face cover and undergo screening. Notably, the passengers are required to have the Aarogya Setu app installed and running on their phones before they are allowed to board the train.