A negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test report is mandatory for travellers from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa. And they can get the test done at the airport itself
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At the recently held annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac emphasised that to restart tourism and ensure a smooth future for airlines companies, it is necessary to relax the pandemic containment quarantine rules and borders bans in favour of testing.
And if the pilot projects initiated by several international airlines for COVID-19 rapid antigen tests before a flight yield positive results, it may be one of the ways to cut down on quarantine rules. To start with, the pilot project is running the tests free of cost.
Some of the airlines which have introduced these tests are Lufthansa (Munich-Hamburg-Munich), Austrian Airlines (Vienna-Hamburg-Vienna) and United Airlines (on the transatlantic route between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow Airport).
Ready to be tested!?ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¬After a three-week trial we are kicking-off the second phase of our #rapidantigentest project. Starting today until the end of November all passengers & crew members of our flights OS171/172 will be tested for #covid19 in order to make flying even more safe. pic.twitter.com/Hq83Dbt5az— Austrian Airlines (@_austrian) November 12, 2020
Passengers agreeing to take the test will have to arrive early (check with the airlines for the time and if pre-registration is required) to take the test. Results are expected to be received within one hour (30 to 60 minutes according to Lufthansa, 10 to 40 minutes according to Austrian Airlines). Passengers with a negative report will be allowed to proceed to the boarding gate. In case the results are positive, prevalent government rules will apply.
Lufthansa said in a release that passengers who do not wish to be tested will be transferred to an alternative flight at no additional cost.
Alternatively, passengers can present a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours at departure.
"With our test strategy, we are pursuing the goal of using the data obtained to gain important insights into the use of rapid tests. Successful testing of entire flights can be the key to revitalizing international air traffic," said Christina Foerster, Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member for Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility.
Flight 14, New York/Newark - London: The world's first transatlantic flight to guarantee everyone (over 2 years old) on board tested negative for COVID-19 before departure.— United Airlines (@united) November 17, 2020
Learn more: https://t.co/HVWP1kCmic pic.twitter.com/bdZeDaEgQK
United Airlines will be checking customers over the age of two and all crew members on select flights which are part of the pilot project.
Even if the pilot testing programmes are successful and airlines companies will likely roll them out on more flights, checks and balances such as wearing of masks, sanitisation and distancing norms will be in place, said the airline companies.
In most cases, the quarantine rules may be relaxed if the experiments meet with success, expect the airline companies.
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