New Delhi: The government has announced that it would no longer be essential for incoming international passengers to complete the self-declaration papers for Covid-19 vaccination on the Air Suvidha portal. The decision will come into effect from midnight.
The Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday evening issued a notice that read, “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, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued revised ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals.”
The Ministry said, “Under the revised guidelines of the health ministry, the submission of self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal stand discontinued.”
However, it added a statutory warning that the rule could be reviewed if needed in view of the Covid situation.
Earlier, the form on the Air Suvidha portal was mandatory for incoming international passengers. The passengers in it had to declare their vaccination status, including the number of doses they have received and their dates. This was in line with the rules in many other nations.
Additionally, the Aviation ministry said that it was preferred that the passengers be fully vaccinated and that it was preferable that all precautionary measures for the novel Covid such as the use of masks and social distancing at airports, be continued.
Notably, last week, the ministry said that the use of masks was no longer mandatory during air travel, but passengers should continue to use them to prevent another wave of coronavirus.
The decision was made, according to the ministry, in accordance with the government’s policy of a graduated approach to Covid-19 management.
It should be mentioned here that the Covid statistics have decreased over the past few weeks. According to official data released this morning, there are currently 6,402 active cases or 0.01 per cent of total infections. The nationwide recovery rate has risen to 98.8 per cent.
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