New Delhi: In the wake of Omicron threat and to ensure smooth passage of international travellers arriving in India, the Centre on Tuesday announced that it has mandated contactless self-declaration on the Air Suvidha portal.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the implementation of the Air Suvidha portal intends to provide hassle-free, queue free and convenient air travel to all international passengers arriving in India.
The mandate comes at a time when passengers at Delhi airport complained of chaos and crowding at its terminal following the implementation of new coronavirus-related travel guidelines.
The ministry also noted that the portal helps the state officials in contact tracing amid looming threats of Omicron variant of coronavirus and detection of 21 cases in several parts of the country.
"The portal was launched in August 2020 and is used to ease international passenger arrival in India. The portal aids passengers in providing their details of travel and final stay along with RTPCR and vaccination status, among other details," the statement noted.
"To ensure the necessary prevention of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the exemption forms in the Air Suvidha portal have been discontinued, and filling of the details have been made compulsory for all international passengers arriving in India," it added.
As per the statement, all international passengers arriving in India are mandated to declare their current health status prior to boarding on the Air Suvidha portal along with the required documents.
"For immigration, the copy received in e-mail is essential on arrival in India and has to be verified at the 'APHO' counter," the statement said.
According to the ministry, all applications from 'at risk' countries are marked with 'H' and 'red band', while others are marked 'green'.
"This helps in smooth on-arrival segregation and processing. The application also takes into account countries visited in the last 14 days to highlight 'at risk' applications. This field has also been made into multi-select drop-down option for standardisation.
"For 'at risk' countries, passengers are advised to pre-book their test on arrival, and the links to the respective testing facilities are provided to the passengers on SDF submission," the ministry said.