New Delhi: A global distress has thrown the movement of travellers off gear around the world with the rapid spread of deadly novel coronavirus. With most positive cases arising out of foreign travels from severely infected countries, the epidemic has impacted air travel not just for pleasure trips but also business travel resulting in monetary losses worth millions. Also Read - COVID-19 Lockdown: Supreme Court to Hear Plea on Migrant Workers on Monday
With fresh positives being reported every day, more than 95,000 people in 86 countries have already been infected with the deadly virus and more than 3,200 people have died. In India so far 31 persons have tested positive for COVID-19. Also Read - Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz Make 'Significant Progress' in Coalition Talks
The governments have been sending out a number of advisories against travel, particularly the aviation sector, while a thorough medical screening is being conducted at all major airports. Also Read - Sonam Bajwa's Sultry Videos in Hot Body-hugging Red Dress is Leaving Fans Hearts' Aflutter
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India on Friday issued an advisory to the crew members and ground staff and stated, “If any employee of airlines, ground staff provider or Airport Authority of India is detected with symptoms of fever, cough, cold, running nose, or congested eyes, they shall be removed from duty and undergo detailed examination.”
Here’s what air travellers need to keep in mind before taking the flight:
*Air India and Indigo that run long haul flights have cancelled their flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai and the restrictions may well run into June
*SpicejJet has cancelled Delhi Hong Kong flights till March 28
*Vistara Airlines has cancelled around 54 flights to and from Bangkok and Singapore.
*GoAir suspends flight operations to Dammam, Saudi Arabia after an advisory issued by the Saudi government to not allow non-Saudi residents to enter. It has also suspended flights to Thailand
In case of international flights by global airlines,
*Almost all major airlines operating out of India have suspended flights to China, Korea, Iran, Italy and some to Japan.
*European and American connections by airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, United Airlines from India continues
*JAL is still operating its service to Japan from India
*United, Air Canada, JetBlue, Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, Brutus Airways have suspended flights to China and reduced operations in countries with high Coronavirus infections such as Italy
In case of domestic flights, there have been no restrictions so far. However, these advisories can affect your travel plan:
*From March 9 midnight all air travellers having visited or arriving from Italy and South Korea will require to submit a certificate of having tested nagative from health authorities -designated lab in their countries for Coronavirus at the departure
*India has also suspended most visas issued to nationals of Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran and China, as well as suspending visas of any travellers who had been to those five countries since February.
*It has now been decided that all incoming international passengers must declare their travel history to health and immigrations officials at India’s airports.
*Arrivals from DGCA list of 12 countries undergo thermal screening, passengers with high temperature taken to quarantine
*Screening to be carried out at 21 airports across the country
*Regular (sticker) visa/e-visa granted to nationals of People’s Republic of China, issued on or before February 5, 2020 were suspended earlier. It shall remain in force.
*Those needing to travel to India under compelling circumstances may apply for fresh visa to the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate,” the advisory said.
*An advisory had also directed passengers arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan to undergo medical screening at the port of entry
*All Indian carriers are offering full refund or bookings to alternate destinations for flights that were booked earlier but are getting cancelled due Coronavirus scare.
*GoAir stated that people have the option of availing a full refund or utilising the booking amount for any future travel with the airline.
*In a travel advisory, Emirates has stated that those wishing to travel to Saudi Arabia will have to contact the Emirates office or their travel agent for refunds.
*Others travellers having expensive insurance cover may get full refunds by the insurance companies if they have included everything under coverage.
*But a larger number of insurers do not provide travel insurance against any pandemics outright. Moreover, any travel plan made now may not get covered for can cancellations due to Coronavirus
With inputs from IANS