General

India issues air transport bubble guidelines

The Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Thursday issued guidelines on ‘air transport bubble’ for travelling to India with immediate effect.

All Bangladeshi nationals can apply for all categories of visas (including dependents) except tourist visa, for travelling to India by air and water routes only.

“All existing visas except tourist visa and medical visa which remained suspended since March 12 are hereby restored for travel to India by air and water routes only,” a press release from the High Commission reads.

All diplomatic/official passport holders of Bangladesh, as per the existing bilateral agreement, are exempted from the requirement of a visa for travel to India.

Passengers have to submit a self-reporting form on the online portal Air Suvidha (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel date, said the High Commission.

As mandated by the health ministry, all international passengers travelling to India are mandatorily required to fill the self-reporting form, anytime before boarding.

They should also give an undertaking on the portal that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days including seven days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by seven days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health.

If passengers wish to seek an exemption, they shall apply to the Air Suvidha portal at least 72 hours before boarding.

The decision taken by the government as communicated on the online portal will be final, the High Commission said.

The categories for exemption are: pregnant women, suffered a death in the family, suffering from serious illness (description to be provided), parents accompanied by children below 10 years, COVID-19 negative certificate (attach RT PCR test only).

The test taken within 96 hours of departure from the port of origin is valid on arrival in India.

If the final report is not available 72 hours prior to the flight, passengers can carry the report and show it on arrival at the airport.

Such passengers can apply for an exemption online at Air Suvidha and upload proof of test mentioning that they are waiting for the result to arrive.

For categories of passengers exempted from institutional quarantine can travel in public transport including domestic flights to reach their final destinations, according to guidelines.

The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of cross-border travel since March. India has been particularly hit hard by the virus with its economy contracting nearly 24 percent as lockdown halted economic activities. It recently started reopening but continues to record a high number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

India has so far recorded 7,706,946 cases, the second-highest in the world after the USA. Its death tally of 116,616 is the third-highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Source: United News of Bangladesh