India (Commonwealth Union)_ The government of India has announced that the self-declaration papers for COVID vaccine that incoming foreign passengers were required to fill out on the Air Suvidha portal will no longer be required. The ruling will be effective from midnight. According to the notice issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry, “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'”.
The Aviation Ministry also stated that as per the updated guidelines of the health ministry, the submission of self-declaration papers on the online Air Suvidha portal will no longer be required. However, it cautioned that depending on the COVID situation in the country, the regulation might be revised if necessary. Earlier, the form on the Air Suvidha portal of the aviation ministry was compulsory for arriving overseas passengers. The passengers were required to report their vaccination status, including the dates and the number of doses received.
This rule conformed to the rules in the majority of countries. However, the government stated that it was preferable for travelers to be completely immunized. Additionally, the travelers are also expected to continue all preventive measures of COVID, including the use of masks and social distancing at airports. The Aviation Ministry announced last week that masks are no longer required during plane travel; however, passengers should still use them as a safety measure to prevent another outbreak of Coronavirus. Before this announcement, the use of masks was required on flights as well.
According to the Ministry, the decision was made in accordance with the government’s strategy of a graded approach to COVID-19 management. In recent times, Coronavirus infections have been decreasing. According to the latest data, the current number of active cases is 6,402, representing 0.01 percent of all infections. The countrywide rate of recovery has grown to 98.8%.