Travelling to India from abroad? Amidst Omicron scare, Indian airports roll out measures to make travel safe and hasslefree

Ranging from deduction in rates of Covid-19 RT-PCR test to sanitising airport premises, airports are providing a range of amenities to international passengers in order to make their journey snag-free and comfortable.

A passenger at the Chennai airport shared that he got hold of his negative Rapid PCR report within 30 minutes. (Credit: Airport Authority of India)

Indian airports are actively stepping up to make travel safe and hassle free for international passengers! Despite the threat of Omicron variant of Coronavirus dampening spirits of international travelers, Indian airports are leaving no stone unturned to make air travel safe, seamless, and comfortable. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia recently took stock of the Covid-10 testing facilities at various international airports and assured passengers that they will not face any inconvenience during their travel. Ranging from deduction in rates of Covid-19 RT-PCR test to sanitising airport premises, airports are providing a range of amenities to international passengers in order to make their journey snag-free and comfortable.

In a welcome development for passengers coming from at-risk countries, the Chennai International Airport has reduced the rates of Covid-19 test that has been made mandatory at the time of arrival. The existing rate of Rs 3400 for Rapid PCR test has been reduced to Rs 2900 whereas the rate for RT-PCR test has been reduced from the existing Rs 700 to Rs 600, Airport Authority of India, Chennai shared on its twitter handle. While passengers need to wait for about 6 hours to get the report of the RT-PCR test, those willing to pay for the Rapid PCR test get their report within an hour, the AAI said in its tweet. The new rates have already come into effect from December 08 midnight, the AAI added.

Airports like Jaipur’s have also taken a number of efforts to keep the spread of the new variant in check including deep cleaning and sanitisation of the airport along with providing amenities to the passengers in the waiting area. At Chennai airport, the waiting area has been equipped with forex counters, childcare room, free telephone booth, entertainment television,free Wi Fi & recliner chairs, the AAI said.

As the threat of Omicron variant of Coronavirus looms large, the passengers coming from at-risk countries including from Africa, Europe and others have been mandated to produce a negative Covid-19 test report at the time of their arrival. A number of airports in the country have also started booking RT-PCR test appointments online including Chennai and Kolkata airport. International passengers coming at the Kolkata airport can book their RT-PCR and Rapid PCR test at the airpor from the official website of the airport. The price of Rapid PCR test and RT-PCR test at the Kolkata airport are Rs 3600 and Rs 700 respectively.

In a similar measure, the Mangaluru International Airport has also started the screening facility of all international passengers arriving at the airport. The airport authorities have demarcated a screening zone where more than 100 passengers can be accommodated and their Covid-19 RT-PCR test conducted. The state government of Karnataka has also taken measures to cap the Covid-19 testing charges at airports in the state.

Meanwhile, the Airport Authority of India shared small videos of international passengers impressed by the seamless and efficient service of Covid-19 testing for international passengers at different airports of the country. A passenger at the Chennai airport shared that he got hold of his negative Rapid PCR report within 30 minutes.

Another passenger at the Chennai airport lauded the seamless screening and testing process at the airport in consonance with the Covid-19 guidelines. While the threat of the Omicron variant has certainly cast a shadow on the travel spirits of people around the world, the Indian airports are trying their best to minimise the inconvenience to passengers on account of Covid-19 protocols.

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