The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued standard operating procedures (SOP) for persons who are stranded in India and need to travel abroad for urgent reasons.
"In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, international travel of passengers has been prohibited under MHA's Orders related to lockdown measures. As per information available, many persons are stranded in India who are desirous to travel abroad urgently for various purposes," the ministry said.
The Home Ministry has said that people who want to travel abroad will have to apply to the Aviation Ministry or to any agency designated by it for this purpose.
"Only those persons shall be allowed to travel to the destination countries, who are citizens of that country: who hold visa of at least one year duration of that country: and green card or OCI card holder. In cases of medical emergency or death in the family, Indian nationals holding six-month visa can also be allowed," read the guidelines issued by the Home Ministry.
Before the tickets of such persons are confirmed, the ministry will ensure that the destination country allows entry of such persons.
The conditions, if any, imposed by the destination country, will have to be fulfilled by the person intending to travel, the home ministry said.
"The travel from India shall be by the non-scheduled commercial flights that are being arranged by MoCA for bringing back stranded Indian nationals from abroad," home ministry said.
The Home Ministry has clarified that the cost of travel, as specified by aviation ministry, will be borne by such travellers. At the time of boarding the flight, the aviation ministry will ensure that all travellers undergo thermal screening as per health protocol.
Only asymptomatic travellers would be allowed to board the flight.
"While on board the flight, health protocol as issued by MoCA will be strictly followed. This would include wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. to be observed by airline staff, crew and all passengers," the home ministry said.