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Domestic flights resume from May 25: Planning to take a flight? Read these important government guidelines

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) has issued a detailed set of instructions, advising passengers to report atleast two hours prior to the departure time since the process will take longer.

May 21, 2020 / 04:26 PM IST

As domestic flights resume from May 25, passengers will have to follow additional guidelines to ensure safety amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) has issued a detailed set of instructions, advising passengers to report atleast two hours prior to the departure time since the process will take longer.

Here are the most important points passengers need to note:

>> Only web check-in will be available. Baggage tags/baggage identification number should be downloaded.
>> Only one hand baggage and one check-in baggage is permitted
>> Social distancing and usage of face masks will be mandatory right from arrival at the airport to exiting at the destination airport.

>> Registering on the Aarogya Sethu app is compulsory. Children below 14 years of age are exempt from this condition.

Are there restrictions on individuals who can travel?

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Yes. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 cannot travel by air. Individuals living in containment zones are also not permitted to fly.

Those who are at high risk of infection, such as the elderly, pregnant ladies, and passengers with health issues have been advised against air travel.

What precautions should I take before reaching the airport?

Complete the web check-in and register on the Aarogya Setu app. Airlines have been instructed to issue a boarding pass only after self-declaration that the passenger can fly and does not show any symptoms of COVID-19.

Why do I need to register on the Aarogya Sethu app?

The Aarogya Setu contact tracing app is required to certify an individual's health before taking a flight.

Passengers whose status does not reflect as "green" on the app will not be allowed to enter the terminal.

Will thermal screening be done at airports?

Yes, thermal screening will be done for all passengers by the airport staff, both while entering the terminal and before boarding.

If an individual is denied permission to travel due to high body temperature or age, then the airline should permit them to change the date without penalty.

Are hand sanitisers compulsory? 

Not specifically. But airlines are instructed to provide protection kits (three layered surgical masks, face shield and sanitiser) to each passenger near the boarding gate.

Hand sanitisers will be available throughout the airport.

Will in-flight meals be permitted? 

No, in-flight meals will not be provided. Consuming any other edible after boarding the aircraft is not permitted, except for health reasons. Only water bottles will be provided by the airlines.

No other items will be sold on board to minimise physical contact and minimise chances of infection. Magazines and newspapers will also not be permitted.
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 21, 2020 02:27 pm

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