Some Useful Tips For International Travel During Pandemic
Glad to share my travel experience from London, Heathrow to Bhopal via Mumbai along with my family in phase 4 of the #VandeBharatMission repatriation flight. I am thankful to High Commission of India in London and Air-India and for making this happen.
The purpose of this blog is to help international passengers who are travelling to India from overseas by Vandey Bharat Mission and special charter flights. I hope you enjoy this blog, and it is very useful for international travellers. If you need any further clarifications please feel free to contact me!!
Some Mandatory Pre-Travel Steps To Be Performed By International Passengers
You have to book your tickets immediately as and when booking starts. Please note, seats are very limited and available only on first come first serve basis. All repatriation flights tickets are non-refundable and non-reschedulable so to book it very wisely
-- You have to register with the High Commission of India, London [Refer Link Below]
You have to register pre-departure information card for #VBM flights [Refer Link Below]
Online Web check-in and pre-declaration form is mandatory, 48 hrs before to the flight’s departure
You have to apply online ePass online of your state [Refer Link Below]
Arogya Setu App is mandatory, and must be downloaded in advance on your mobile. Every individual passenger needs to download this App on his/her mobile except kids age below 10 years
You’ve to register for the Arogya Setu App for that you require Indian number. Pls don’t get panicked, if you don’t have Indian sim, you will get it directly at the destination airport by paying 500 Rs
Advance booking of a taxi is mandatory otherwise you will chase some difficulties at the airport, and will not be allowed the exit clearance. Please note that the Taxi number and driver details you booked in the deceleration form and in the ePass must be the same, and it will be validated by the airport staff
Before Boarding The Flight !!
All passengers were screened in London, Heathrow airport at the boarding gate and those who have any symptoms would be put in quarantine facility in the UK. Before boarding, there is a temperature check done and a seal placed on our passes. The flight personnel are in full PPE gear. On each seat there are two snack boxes and a packet with face shield, mask and hand sanitiser sachets. There is no in-flight entertainment. The flight was full, and there were no vacant seats.
It is advisable to carry your home-cooked food while travelling and to avoid the food provided in the international sector. A hand sanitizer of less than 100 ml can be carried and must be in your pocket, so to keep your hands sanitized properly on frequent intervals. In case, if you are travelling along with kids it is better to prefer a window seat for children.
Steps To Be Followed Before Landing
Passport, Visa, eTickets, Pre-Departure and Declarations forms print-out ready in hand for verification
Boarding pass will be issued at the counter after passport, visa and e-ticket verification
Baggage Drop-off (2 pieces of 23 kg allowed by Air India #VBM Repatriation Flights. And a maximum of 7 kg cabin-bag permissible. Laptops bag and iPad are not allowed separately, Lady hand-purse or Baby pushchair are allowed in the aircraft, check with your airlines before boarding)
Health Check-up declaration form to be filled and verified by the airport staff members
You have to go through Security Check-in
Have undergone Health Check-up and Temperature recording before boarding the aircraft
A face mask is mandatory and must wear all the time at the airport
You have to wear Corona Kit and face-shield before entering the aircraft
Steps To Be Followed After Landing
Health Check-up and Temperature recording after landing at the destination airport
Arogya Setu App status must be in GREEN, and it will be checked by airport security team
Health and Hotel form acknowledgement to be filled in case you don’t have pre-approvals and prior declarations in advance
Immigration Clearance process to be followed
Baggage collection, and Custom clearance
Indian Sim card collection in order to register Arogya Setu App
Hotels booking to be selected according to your personal preference for intuitional quarantine. In case, if you do not have hometown quarantine approvals or NOC’s.
Exit clearance, NOC will be provided by home state-officers that you’ve applied and travelling to
It is to be noted, that NO international passengers are allowed to continue their travel by domestic flights. They will have to travel by road only via taxi to their home states. Advance taxi booking document are mandatory in any case.
Institutional and Home quarantine will be followed in your hometown after getting approvals
After landing at Mumbai international airport, it took hardly 90 minutes to complete all formalities including immigration clearance, baggage collection, medical check-up, temperature recording and other required formalities. It is advisable to get approvals in advance, so there’s no need to stand in long queues at the airport and it helps in smooth clearance process, this would off-course save your time and efforts. A special approval for hometown quarantine will be given by the state authorities depending on the documents you provide. However, authorities allow you to permit the hometown quarantine process only on the basis of medical emergency in the family, or in case travelling along with kids, pregnant women, senior citizens, condolence visit in the family, visa expiry, deport or exit cases.
Steps To Be Followed After Reaching Hometown
You have to inform your local Chief Medical Officers [CMHO’s] immediately on your arrival for institutional quarantine
In case of any health issues, please report immediately and do not hesitate to contact CMHO
A two-week mandatory quarantine process will be followed by every individual who is travelling internationally. It includes seven days Institutional Quarantine in hotels, and seven days home quarantine
You will not be required to undergo any medical test after completion of your quarantine period.
As far as possible, avoid international travels at this time of pandemic unless there’s grave emergency
Important Registration Links
https://mapit.gov.in/covid-19/ [ePass Link]
https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInUK/ [High Commission of India, London]
https://www.facebook.com/AirIndia [Repatriation Flights Details and Schedule]
https://ota.airindia.in/vandebharat/PassengerHealthUndertaking.aspx [Web Check-in]
http://www.airindia.in/r1landingpage.htm [Repatriation Flight Booking & Declaration]
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScJ4YG8EXWELiyajS3lHVSUpOKkCTW2s95ghuUG_9jiy6merg/viewform [Pre-Departure Information Card Vandey Bharat Mission]