Monday, May 10, 2021

Do away with Covid-19 negative report rule, airlines urge state govts

New Delhi: Faced with an uphill task of keeping business solvent, the country’s airlines have approached the central and state governments to eliminate the need for Covid negative report, which is mandatory for entry into multiple states. Karnataka was the first state to remove the requirement on Sunday.

Airlines want the negative RT-PCR test result to be replaced with a fit-to- fly certificate from a physician to make things easier for passengers and the aviation industry.

According to multiple executives of private and government-owned Air India, such a request have been made to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and also to specific state governments. Airlines cited that getting an RT-PCR test at any of India’s leading metro cities within 72 hours have become difficult which is forcing people to cancel their travel.

Airlines have cited instructions of the country's apex bio-medical research agency Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which had recently said there was no need for a Covid-19 retest at least for the next three months for people who have recovered from the disease.

“Leave alone getting a test result, it is quite impossible to even book a test within 48 hours in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. In such cases, many healthy people (those without any symptoms) and those have recovered from RT-PCR are not being able to travel, hitting the sector further. A fit-to-fly certificate from a legitimate physician should be enough to allow someone to take a flight,” an executive said.

10/05/21 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard

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