The Ministry of Civil Aviation has relaxed COVID-19-related regulations, stating that cabin crew members do not need to wear PPE kits, airlines do not need to keep three seats empty on international flights for medical emergencies, and airport security personnel can resume pat-down searches of passengers.
As per the ministry’s ruling dated March 21, the relaxation was granted to promote the smooth functioning of aviation operations.
After the Omicron variant depressed demand in January, India’s aviation sector is presently rebounding. In February, around 76.96 lakh domestic passengers flew, which was nearly 20% more than in January.
In its directive, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said that the restriction of leaving three seats available on foreign flights for dealing with medical crises connected to COVID-19 stands removed.
According to the MoCA, airlines may carry a few extra PPE protection equipment, such as sanitiser and N-95 masks, to manage any respiratory illnesses caused by cases on board, for both passengers and crew.
It stated that it has permitted full domestic flight operations beginning October 18, 2021, and that it has now decided to resume planned international flight operations beginning March 27, 2022, in light of the lowering COVID-19 cases, high level of vaccinations, and current COVID-19 condition.
The need for crew members to have a complete PPE kit has been abolished, according to the MoCA.
However, the use of a face mask and the use of hand hygiene/sanitiser remain obligatory, according to the statement.