Centre issues SOPs for Vande Bharat, Air Transport Bubble Flights

The Centre announced Standard Operating Procedures for travel on Vande Bharat and Air Transport Bubble Flights for inbound and outbound travel.

As per the Civil Aviation Ministry's guidelines, the cost of travel will have to be borne by the travellers. "At the time of boarding all travellers to undergo thermal screening. Only asymptomatic travellers to be allowed to board," it added.

"Category of persons eligible to travel will be permitted by the Home Ministry from time to time. Civil Aviation Ministry will display on its website the category of persons eligible to travel out of India," it read.

The eligible persons would have to apply to the civil aviation agency or their designated agency along with their necessary details. "Travel shall be on non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Civil Aviation Ministry. While onboard, precautions such as wearing masks, hand hygiene etc. to be observed by staff crew and all passengers," it added.

With regard to inbound flight, the category of persons eligible to travel would be permitted by the Union Home Ministry.

"Passengers of Vande Bharat Flights must register themselves with Indian Missions abroad. Air Transport Bubbles arrangements do not require such registration. They will travel by non-scheduled commercial flights/ships allowed by the government," the guidelines stated.

For inbound flights as well the cost of travel would be borne by the travellers. Only COVID-19 negative crew and staff will be allowed to operate flights and ships.

The SOP further stated that the External Affairs Ministry "to prepare a database of all Vande Bharat travellers" and share it with respective States and Union Territories in advance.

According to the SOP, the Airlines to "submit details of all Air Transport Bubbles passengers and share it with the concerned Indian Missions abroad with a copy to State/Union Territory government".

"The External Affairs Ministry and Civil Aviation ministry to display online the schedule of the incoming flights/ships at least two days in advance. All travellers to give an undertaking that they are making the journey at their own risk," the SOP stated.

"Passengers arriving through land borders to undergo the same protocol. Guidelines on protocols and quarantine as issued by the Health Ministry will be observed," the guidelines stated further.

As many as 11,23,000 Indians stranded abroad have been repatriated by different modes under Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) till August 19, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that in the ongoing Phase 5 of the Vande Bharat Mission, around 500 international flights and 130 domestic feeders have been operated so far from 22 different countries and reaching 23 airports across India.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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