Covid test should be waived for vaccinated passengers: Travel agents’ body | Mumbai News

Mumbai: Vaccinated Indians should be given a certificate for proof and date of their vaccination

Mumbai: Vaccinated Indians should be given a certificate for proof and date of their vaccination or such information should be linked to their Aadhaar card so that Covid RT-PCR test and quarantine norms can be waived off for them when they travel within India, said Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). The vaccination drive, which began on Saturday, is being viewed as that much-needed shot in the arm for the ailing travel industry.
Vaccinated passengers, say from places like Goa, Delhi should be allowed to enter Maharashtra sans quarantine, TAAI said. Jyoti Mayal, president of TAAI, said that the association has urged the government to set guidelines for vaccinated travellers, issue verifiable certificates and set SOPs. “Every person vaccinated in India must be granted a certificate. Our government should also tie-up with other countries verifying and accepting their Covid vaccine certificates. This will enable vaccinated travellers to resume activities like in pre-Covid times,’’ she said.
About inbound travellers, there is no clarity on the entry norms for vaccinated passengers who wish to travel to India, said Mayal, calling for a uniform policy on this matter. Jay Bhatia, vice-president, TAAI, said that they had proposed immediate action so that vaccinated travellers desirous of travelling domestic, international and even inbound to India shall be free from hassles.
Last month, global airlines’ trade body, International Air Transport Association (IATA), renewed its call on governments to ensure that employees in the aviation sector are considered as essential workers during the impending Covid-19 vaccine campaign, once healthcare workers and vulnerable groups have been protected.
With regards to passengers, IATA said that while a significant majority of international travelers will be willing to get vaccinated, vaccination should not be a mandatory government requirement for international travel. “As the risks of Covid to the local population reduce, imposing requirements on international travelers is not justified. Mandating vaccination would discriminate against those individuals who are not able to get vaccinated due to medical reasons or who are unwilling to do so due to ethical or other concerns. Moreover, such a policy would also risk discriminating against those markets where vaccines may take longer to become widely available,” it said.