Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday said that the new Omicron variant of Coronavirus has triggered concern over international travel across the world and this leads to fresh travel restrictions in several countries, including India.
Amid the fear of Omicron India has made it mandatory for passengers coming in from ‘at-risk’ countries to pre-book their Rapid PCR, RT-PCR tests which they need to undergo on arrival.
These new rules will come into effect from 20th Dec 2021 and in the first phase, they will be applicable only for international travelers arriving at 6 airports namely Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
“International travel is completely dependent on the spread of the Omicron variant. Prior to covid, our highest capacity was close to 4.2 lakh passengers daily, now we are ranging between 3.7 lakh to 3.95 lakh”Said Jyotiraditya Scindia, Civil Aviation MinisterAdvertisement
International travel is completely dependent on the spread of the Omicron variant. Prior to covid, our highest capacity was close to 4.2 lakh passengers daily, now we are ranging between 3.7 lakh to 3.95 lakh: Jyotiraditya Scindia, Civil Aviation Minister pic.twitter.com/n5foRgd0UL— ANI (@ANI) December 14, 2021
“Keeping this in mind, I was looking at opening up international travel, but the world got hit by Omicron, which has been raging virulently and violently across the world, and we decided to contain international exposure again.” Scindia further added.
It may be noted that India has also put a total of 12 countries, including all of Europe, on its “At-Risk” list, and passengers arriving from these countries are tested at the airport and have to quarantine at home for seven days.
The Aviation Minister also said that “We are working closely with the health ministry. When we get over Omicron, we can go back to normalcy, but I cannot give you a date today. We must put the health of our citizens at the top of our priority list amid the new concerns.”