No cabin baggage, Aarogya Setu app for passengers in post lockdown era
New Delhi : India is trying to put things back on track by resuming basic services for the residents of the nation. The Indian Railways has already started its services on major routes and now the aviation ministry is planning to resume the flight services as well with some changes in the rules and regulations before boarding a flight.
According to a report, passengers will be asked to fill up a detailed questionnaire on COVID-19, they will not be allowed with any cabin baggage, can take flight only if they have Aarogya Setu application and the travellers will have to report to the airport at least two hours before the flight; these are among the suggested changes during the initial phase of resumption of services.
The civil aviation ministry has come out with a draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for restarting commercial air passenger services in the country. The services were suspended with India observing the lockdown since March 25.
"It is clarified that suggestions were sought on a draft discussion paper from airlines and airports. The suggestions have now been received. The final SOP is yet to be issued," the ministry said in a statement.
Green status on Aarogya Setu app, web check-in, and temperature checks for all domestic departing and arriving passengers have also been proposed.
The draft plan has also mentioned deploying the same set of cabin crew in service for the maximum possible time to prevent possible risk of coronavirus containment.
Not just for passengers, the draft SOP has suggested measures that could be followed by security agencies as well as airport operators, including doing away with identity card checks at airport entry gates and ensuring social distancing requirements.
Another suggestion is to keep three rows of an aircraft vacant for isolating any passenger who has a medical emergency on board.
"A questionnaire to be circulated to the passenger and filled up by them in advance about their past history related to COVID-19 and quarantine, if any, in last one month. Any passenger who has undergone quarantine in the last one month to be sent for security at the isolated security check unit only," as per the document.
Further, the ministry has suggested that passengers denied travel due to high temperature or age should be permitted to change their date of travel without penalty and airlines would have to maintain their records.
An isolation zone will also be created inside the airport building for suspicious passengers.