The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our lives; it has forced us to adapt to the new ways of living. And, one of the important changes it has brought is the way we travel. Here a few important things to remember when you take the next flight.
As the stringent lockdown measures are eased after more than six months, the domestic flights have well and truly resumed and are operating several flights every day to different parts of the country. But, to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 infection, the government has asked the airport authorities, airlines and even the public to maintain strict preventive measures and protocols.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued strict guidelines that all travellers must adhere to. These points cover every touchpoint from the moment you enter the airport to in-flight measure, until you land at the destination.
· Check the rules of the city where you are travelling
In the purview of the second and third-wave of the pandemic, the civic authorities in different cities across are constantly keeping a tight leash on every aspect to control the infection spread. This includes handling the people coming in the city from other parts of the country and overseas.
Some of the cities require the travellers coming to the city to carry a mandatory COVID-19 negative report. Some cities restrict the travellers from visiting the containment zones and certain cities require all travellers coming from overseas to spend seven days at the institutional quarantine. So, before you start your journey, it is vital that you read about the COVID-19-related rules and comply with the requirements accordingly.
· Check your health status
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has made it mandatory for all Indian travellers to download and install the Aarogya Setu Application on their mobile phones. You can easily check your health status through the app, and know the likelihood of having contracted the infection. Only if the app shows the status as green you may be allowed to enter the airport and continue with your travel.
Concealing any information about your health status is an offense, and it may lead to punishment. Also, it is better to get yourself tested for COVID-19 at least 48 hours before the travel date and carry the report.
· Opt for digital check-in
In the purview of the onset of the third-wave of the pandemic across India, and the rising number of cases, the situation can be quite hostile. In such a situation, it is better to reduce contact with people. And, one of the best ways to can minimise the contact with officials at the airport is to complete your check-in formalities online and get the digital boarding pass on your phone.
Also, before you leave your house for the airport it is a good practice to check the airline ticket booking status to confirm if the ticket is confirmed. You can easily check the status by entering your PNR number on the ticketing portal.
· Eat a full meal before travelling
The aviation ministry in India has advised all airlines from saving in-flight meals to restrict the contact and control the COVID-19 spread. Also, many airlines restrict travellers from carrying their own food. So, it is better to have a full meal from home before you start your trip. This will help you be at ease during the trip and you don’t have to starve unnecessarily.
· Keep your loved ones informed
No matter if you are traveling within India or abroad, in the current scenario it is better to keep your friends and family informed about your travel plans. If there are any last-minute changes like flight cancellation, delay in the flight, quarantine requirements, etc. people will know about your whereabouts and they can offer help when needed. Also, it is better to have a backup plan for your transport locally so that you don’t have to be stuck at one place if public transport is not available. Lastly, make arrangements for a place to live where you can self-quarantine (if needed).
In the current times, travelling is all about being smart and informed about the latest rules. Being up to date will help you comply with the rules and avoid unnecessary hassles.