On Monday (May 25), India opened its air routes armed with masks and face shields. However, things weren’t easy on Day 1 after a 60-day hiatus which saw long queues and a large number of cancellations and the story was the same across the country.
In order to make traveling safer, the aviation ministry has decided to make the thermal screening, face covers or masks, web check-ins, and 14-day quarantine mandatory for people traveling through airlines.
However, aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri has decided that contact trace Aarogya Setu app is preferable for air travel, but not mandatory. While the service is mandatory for all other major services except air travels, the real question is how are the airports managing?
To effectively manage this, people who are flying without the Aarogya Setu app will have to sign a declaration highlighting if they are coming from any containment zones, if they are showing any symptoms of coronavirus especially fever and if they have been asked to stay under quarantine. Besides this, the passenger will also have to declare that if they develop any symptom of coronavirus, they will report it to the authority at the earliest.
The declaration form also specifies that if the passenger declares any incorrect information, they will be liable to penal action. The declaration form is mandatory to get a boarding pass for all those who have not downloaded the Aarogya Setu app. People coming from containment zones and having a fever will not be allowed to travel. “Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel,” the airport director added, on condition of anonymity.
India has been recording more than 6K positive Covid-19 cases for five consecutive days, taking the tally up to 1.46 Lakh. Rail services resumed from May 12 with similar requirements as air travel.
However, the railway ministry has decided to make the Aarogya Setu app mandatory for all passengers. Only those passengers with a ‘green’ sign in the Aarogya Setu app, indicating that they have not come into contact with any Covid-19 case, will be allowed to travel.