Govt issues new guidelines for international travel on non-scheduled commercial flights

The Home Ministry has issued Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for international travel on non-scheduled commercial flights under the Vande Bharat Scheme and Air Transport Bubble arrangement.

The SOP states that persons wanting to travel to India on the Vande Bharat flights will register themselves with the Indian missions in the country where they are stranded or residing, along with necessary details as prescribed by the External Affairs Ministry. Such registration may not be required on flights operating under Air Transport Bubbles arrangement.

Persons will travel to India by non scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Civil Aviation Ministry, and ships as allowed by Department of Military Affairs or Shipping Ministry. Priority will be given to compelling cases.

The cost of travel, as specified by the carrier, will be borne by the the travellers.

For inbound passengers, External Affairs Ministry will prepare flight or ship wise database of all travellers, including details such as name, age, gender, mobile number, place of residence, place final destination, and information on RT-PCR test taken and its result. This database will be shared by the Ministry with the states and UTs in advance.

For outbound flights, the category of persons who will be eligible to travel will be as permitted by Home Ministry from time to time.

Such persons will apply to Civil Aviation Ministry or to agencies designated by the Ministry for this purpose, along with necessary details, including the places of departure and arrival.