Travelling Domestically or Internationally During COVID? What You Must know

With most airlines becoming fully functional after the COVID-19 scenario in India, people are getting ready to re-acquaint themselves with flying and travel. This being said, it is also vital to stay on top of the latest updates related to air travel. Keep reading to find out about airlines’ travel restrictions and advisory issues to protect flyers from COVID.

Airlines all over India are adopting new protocols to ensure the safety of their passengers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. From providing face shields to regular sanitization of the airport and planes, no stone is left unturned to make travel virus-free. However, to travel safely during the pandemic what you need the most is your own COVID checklist. Here are a few points that you can add to your checklist to ensure safe travel.

Travel Advisory for Flyers

Most airports have issued new billboards or digital screens with Covid-19 guidelines flashing 24 hours a day. Below mentioned are a few government-issued travel advisory to avoid contamination.

  • Avoid making unnecessary contact with any surface.
  • Wear disposable gloves and change them after regular intervals.
  • Maintain a minimum of two feet of distance between people.
  • While it is advised not to take off your mask inside the flight, necessities like drinking water might be unavoidable. So carrying your water bottle can reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Avoid the use of public washrooms both inside the plane and the airport unless necessary.

You should also carry your Covid-19 utility kit, which brings us to our next point.

Carefully Prepare Your COVID-19 Utility-Kit

Although the airlines have sanitation kits available at the airport and inside the planes at all times, you should always carry your utility-Kit. Here is what you must buy to prepare a COVID-19 utility kit-

  • Hand Sanitizer with more than 70% alcohol content
  • Extra N-95 Facemasks
  • Face shield
  • Hand-wash
  • Wet-wipes & tissues
  • Surface cleaner

Besides the above list, it is also smart to carry zip-lock bags which you can use to dispose of items, so you don’t have to leave your seat during the flight.

Know Your Destination

While India has lifted the mandatory quarantine rule for domestic travel, there are many countries where you are required to self-quarantine after your flight lands. As a traveller, you should be well-acknowledged with the Covid19 guidelines implemented at your destination regarding flights, hotels, and tourist spots. For instance, if you are flying to Dubai, a 14 -day quarantine is a must. Similarly, the US also has different self-quarantine rules for different states. Let us see the new rules implemented for international travel in India.

Know About the International Travel Restrictions

Although domestic and international flights have resumed in India, international flights to some destinations remain suspended till 28th February 2021. It is also important to notice that this does not include relief, repatriation, and humanitarian flights. While tourists are not allowed in the country, the following list of individuals can enter the country-

  • Nationals of India, Bhutan & Nepal
  • Spouses of national citizens
  • Students with at least one parent as a national citizen of India
  • Individual who are overseas citizens of India ( OCI cardholders)

You are also required to produce a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, followed by 14-days of mandatory quarantine.

Check the Cancellation Policy of Your Flight

Different Flight booking sites in India have come up with various refund policies. Airlines also provide a partial refund or airline credit if you test positive close to the departure date and have to cancel your trip. If you had booked an international flight ticket before March 2020, you would be eligible for a full refund or redeem the ticket after the international travel ban is lifted. It is very important to check the cancellation policy before you book the ticket to avoid any hassle in the future.

While Airlines try their best to maintain the decorum of the flight and ensure the implementation of the COVID protocols, the flyer must cooperate and stay vigilant. Keep these tips in mind, and don’t forget to create a checklist for your return journey!

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