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No Air Suvidha form, mask mandate: What's new for international passengers flying in to India

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulNov 22, 2022 | 12:52

No Air Suvidha form, mask mandate: What's new for international passengers flying in to India

India has FINALLY discontinued the mandatory Air Suvidha forms for inbound passengers. The self-declaration form for inbound travellers has been removed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and will take effect starting today, November 22, 2022.

Fresh orders from the Union Health Ministry, a notice released by the Civil Aviation Ministry stated,

“In the light of sustained declining Covid-19 trajectory and significant advances being made in Covid-19 vaccination coverage both globally as well as in India, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued revised ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals.”

What was the Air Suvidha form: The Air Suvidha self-declaration form was a contactless solution facilitated by the Delhi Airport for all international passengers to India, as a means of controlling, preventing and understanding contact-tracing during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It has been discontinued now. Starting today, international passengers flying in to India will no longer need to fill the Air Suvidha form and submit it at the check-in counters.

So, what's new if you're flying in to India from abroad? In light of the new rules and regulations, people flying to India from other countries will

  • No longer have to fill out the Air Suvidha form upon arrival, 
  • No longer be required to take a mandatory RT-PCR Covid test,
  • No longer have to mandatorily vaccinated (though it remains preferable)
  • No longer mandated to wear a protective mask at the airport or inside the aircraft (though it remains preferable in the noxious atmosphere of a city like Delhi)

The discontinuing of Air Suvidha forms were met with mixed reactions from people...

Those in favour of Air Suvidha forms being discontinued: The Internet seems overwhelmingly pleased for the most part, on the scrapping of the Air Suvidha mandate, with many travellers being hassled at airports abroad, due to connectivity issues while completing the Air Suvidha forms. Some even relied on friends and family outside to assist them with the painstaking procedure.

The other side: Yet, a few seem skeptical on the scrapping of the forms and other pandemic protocols, fearing the possibility of a new variant of the coronavirus on the rise. 

Should passengers be found to show Covid-like symptoms during random screening protocol, they will immediately be isolated and taken to a designated medical facility, as per protocol.

Following the gradual lifting of embargos on in-flight meals, the social distancing protocol, as well as the number of flights per day, the decision marks an end to the few remaining restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus in the country. 

Last updated: November 22, 2022 | 12:53
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