In flight news today, passengers must know that Maharashtra and Kerala have changed their RT-PCR testing guidelines for domestic flyers.
Looking abroad, Emirates has announced that it will extend its flight restrictions to the UAE from India, with some exemptions. And finally, a little surprise from GoAir—who, by the way, have officially changed their name!
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Catch up on all these updates below:
Maharashtra relaxes testing rules for intra-state flyers
Domestic passengers flying into Mumbai from other airports in Maharashtra can no longer be asked to undergo an RT-PCR test upon landing. Airlines and airport authorities will also not be able to insist on an RT-PCR test or certificate for passengers flying from Mumbai to other airports within the state.
The new rules are part of a directive released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation yesterday, and have already come into effect. Passengers flying to/from Mumbai from airports in Pune, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Shirdi, Aurangabad, and Jalgaon can benefit from this change.
Kerala updates RT-PCR mandate
All passengers travelling to Kerala must now carry a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours. According to information shared by IndiGo, the test’s validity timeline will start from the time of swab collection. This will also apply to travellers visiting Kerala for a short period for objectives like trade, business, medical reasons, property management, official purposes, etc.
Those without the report will be asked to undergo the test upon arrival at their own cost at the airport or a testing facility (as applicable at the destination). Passengers who don’t want to undergo an RT-PCR test will have to complete 14 days of mandatory home quarantine. See the official tweet:
14 day home quarantine for passengers without a negative RT-PCR certificate and unwilling to undergo testing upon arrival. Know more https://t.co/lmu1P059GS #LetsIndiGo #Aviation #guidelines pic.twitter.com/ihdjhqyvin
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) May 30, 2021
For Kannur, the rules slightly differ. While the RT-PCR test requirement remains the same, those without the report have not been given the option of home quarantine. Such passengers will have to mandatorily undergo testing on arrival at their own cost.
Disclaimer: State guidelines and rules are subject to change on a short notice. Travellers are advised to recheck the entry and RT-PCR requirements with their respective airlines to ensure hassle-free travel.
Emirates suspends India–UAE flights
The airline confirmed on Sunday that it would be halting passenger flights from India to the UAE till June 30. The flag carrier further added that “passengers who have transited through India in the last 14 days will not be accepted to travel from any other point to the UAE”.
However, UAE nationals, holders of UAE Golden Visas, and members of diplomatic missions who comply with the country’s present COVID-19 protocols will be exempted for travel. If your booking has been cancelled due to this update, Emirates has shared a few options on what you can do at emirates.com/in/english/help/travel-updates
GoFirst debuts charter flight services
GoFirst (formerly GoAir) has introduced private charter services for business and leisure trips from this year. These flights will be operated on Airbus A320neo aircrafts, which have a seating capacity of up to 186 passengers. The need for social distancing and safe travel during the pandemic prompted this launch, the airline said in a statement. To make bookings, passengers can drop an email at [email protected]
For the latest updates on domestic and international travel guidelines, you can visit ixigo’s COVID-19 Travel Guide here.