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Home » Combating coronavirus: Expats stranded in India can soon return to UAE on special flights – News
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Combating coronavirus: Expats stranded in India can soon return to UAE on special flights – News

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In case of medical emergencies or death in the family, Indian nationals holding a six-month visa will also be allowed.

Indian expatriates residing in the UAE, currently stranded in India, can soon return home on the special non-scheduled commercial flights that are allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) for bringing back stranded Indian nationals from abroad.

All incoming passengers must be a citizen of, hold a residence visa that is at least a year-old, and a green card or OCI card holder of the country they wish to travel to, said the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday, May 24.

“In case of medical emergencies or death in the family, Indian nationals holding a six-month visa will also be allowed,” the Indian Ministry said. The MHA has issued a new standard operation procedure (SOP) for ‘movement of persons stranded in India who are desirous to travel abroad’.

In a bid to contain the pandemic, international travel of passengers had been prohibited under the MHA’s orders related to lockdown measures. However, following three weeks of the special Vande Bharat Mission, India has eased the strict travel restrictions that has been in place since March 21. More details of the agencies that have been appointed by the MoCA is expected to be revealed soon.

Here are the protocols interested travellers must adhere to:

>Interested travellers in India must apply to MoCA or to any agency designated by MoCA for this purpose, along with necessary details, including the places of departure and arrival, as prescribed by MoCA.

>Only those persons shall be allowed to travel to the destination countries, who are citizens of that country; who hold visa of at least one-year duration of that country; and green card and OCI card holders. In case of medical emergencies or death in the family, Indian nationals holding a six-month visa will also be allowed.

>Travel from India shall only be on the non-scheduled commercial flights that are allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) for bringing back stranded Indian nationals from abroad.

>Indian seafarers and crew seeking to accept contracts to serve on vessels abroad, can travel on the non-scheduled commercial flights departing from India under the Vande Bharat Mission or any other flights arranged by their employers’ subject to clearance given by the Ministry of Shipping.

>Before tickets of such passengers are confirmed, MoCA will ensure that the destination country allows the entry of such persons in that country. The conditions, in any, imposed by the destination country, will have to be fulfilled by the person intending to travel.

>The cost of travel, as specified by the carrier, will be borne by such travellers.

>At the time of boarding the flight, MoCA will ensure all travellers undergo thermal screening as per health protocol. Only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board the flight.

>While on board, required precautions such as wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. are to be observed by airline staff, crew, and passengers.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com 

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88







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