The Delhi airport has developed an online portal that will allow international passengers to fill a mandatory self-declaration form. Eligible passengers can apply for exemption from compulsory institutional quarantine for coronavirus, said the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) on Friday.
This will make traveling contactless as they won't have to fill physical copies of self declaration and quarantine exemption forms when they arrive in India. From Saturday onward, a total of five categories of passengers can get exemption from the mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine. These five categories include pregnant women, those who have had bereavement in their families, people suffering from serious illnesses, parents accompanying children below 10 and those who have COVID-negative certificate from test done 96 hours before the journey.
Passengers who are allowed exemption would have to undergo 14-day home quarantine. All other international passengers arriving in India have to follow the usual process of undergoing mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine, at their own cost, followed by seven days of home quarantine.
"Passengers seeking exemption under the five specific categories will need to fill the e-form available on www.newdelhiairport.in. They will have to submit it along with supporting documents, including a copy of their passports, at least 72 hours before boarding their flights," DIAL said.
According to rules, every passenger has to submit a self-declaration form saying they have not tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks prior to the flight. A copy of approval or rejection of exemption requests on specific grounds will be emailed to the passengers.
"Those eligible for exemption from mandatory institutional quarantine can show the approval certificate at the transfer area after landing and walk out hassle-free," said the DIAL. This will not only help flyers but also reduce congestion at the arrival hall of the airports, according to DIAL. The portal has been termed 'Air Suvidha' and it can be accessed through Delhi airport's official website.
This facility will be available for international passengers from Saturday. The online forms have been developed in collaboration with various state governments, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of External Affairs. Scheduled international passenger flights continue to be suspended in India since March 23 amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international repatriation flights and charter flights have been permitted by the aviation regulator.
Since May 6, special international flights have been operated by Air India under the Vande Bharat Mission to help stranded people reach their destination. Private carriers have also operated under this mission. Last month, India formed bilateral air bubbles with countries like the US, the UAE, France and Germany under which airlines of both the countries are allowed to operate special flights with certain restrictions.