The onset of COVID-19 has taken the entire world by surprise. Everything has faced severe deterioration, whether it is the corporate sector, social circles, or education, especially when discussing underdeveloped nations. Thanks to the pandemic, global travel and tourism have opened some astonishing presents too. India, the second most populated country globally, has faced significant challenges in this regard. Keep reading to learn how to move out of Hyderabad during a pandemic.
Given the rapid spread of the disease, the Indian authorities implemented social distancing and lockdown rules in July 2020. This led to a drastic impact on its economy, human lives, and environment. Simultaneously, COVID international travel to India was restricted till 15th April. On 16th March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued travel restrictions that resembled those imposed in pandemics like Ebola and SARs.
India experienced a phenomenal increase in the number of COVID cases. It became a challenge for the people to conduct international and local travel. This guide intends to discuss a specific and most famous region, Hyderabad. Let’s see how to move out of Hyderabad city:
Hyderabad vaccination policies
As India rolled under a deadly wave of COVID-19, authorities finally realized the need to vaccinate the country’s massive population. The government has vaccinated 40 million people, and there are 150 million people overall. Some states have proven to be more proactive than others.
The Telangana Government considered restricting public spaces like malls and pubs for the vaccinated people only. Besides this, the vaccinated individuals have to sign up for a Universal Pass. It is helpful for travel through public transport and accessible entrance into malls or other public spaces.
The central government approves the Universal Pass. And the people who live in Hyderabad need an e-pass to travel after 10 am. The police issue this to travel within the city. It is mandatory for those travelling to the town during the lockdown hours. The e-pass also applies to people travelling inter-city or inter-district.
The Pass was issued by the commissioner and superintendent of the police. According to a report by The Indian Express, DGP M Mahender Reddy made these decisions. The passengers travelling by trains and flights also needed valid tickets as they travelled.
The metros and buses were operating during the designated hours. The TSRTC and HMRL announced that the buses and metro trains would run in twin cities and districts from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Apart from the local commute, it was essential for the Hyderabad population to have international transport permits. Digital passports like IATA (International Air Transport Association) have provided worldwide governments with the means to verify the authenticity of vaccinations or tests.
Airlines can also gain accurate information about the passengers regarding test requirements and whether a particular passenger meets the test requirements set internationally. Indian airlines have also joined the IATA travel pass initiative. SpiceJet and IndiGo are the two famous names that joined this. And several pathological laboratories have also joined IATA’s travel pass network to provide the test sites near the international airports.
Apollo Hospitals in India has joined the IATA network, and SpiceJet also recently announced that it has jumped onto the IATA bandwagon.
Current Hyderabad travel restrictions
Hyderabad has released the new travel guidelines during the third wave of COVID-19 as the government tries to minimize the impact of the third wave of the pandemic. To deal with the second wave of the COVID-19, the government has issued Indian COVID travel restrictions on local and international travel coupled with penalties.
The new COVID variant has hindered the travel of many international residents in Hyderabad. People willing to go across the border during Christmas and New Year faced several restrictions. People were scared that countries, including Hyderabad, would implement travel restrictions that would affect their leisure travel. Even the directorate general of civil aviation delayed the resumption of scheduled commercial international flights due to the new COVID variant.
Applying the new policies for moving out of Hyderabad posed a threat to the people. They weren’t afraid to travel easily into Hyderabad during their return. Some customers considered cancelling their flights in December or deferring their plans for the future.
Moreover, travellers from particular countries with high rates of COVID had to take the RT-PCR test on arrival. Even for the people who are willing to travel from the Hyderabad International Airport, it was mandatory to have a vaccination certificate. They need to take their PCR tests 72 hours before travelling.
Air India resumed its operations in India from January 2022. Nonetheless, travel within the country doesn’t require people to carry their vaccination certificates.
Hyderabad quarantine orders
The restrictions on International Commercial Passenger Services to and from Hyderabad are extended till 28th February 2022. These restrictions were not imposed upon the cargo operations and flights approved by DGCA. All international passengers entering the country were required to conduct a home quarantine for seven days.
Air Suvidha online platform for uploading the negative results of an RT-CPR COVID-19 test taken on the 8th day to exit quarantine. Those passengers who demonstrated the symptoms of COVID had to extend their quarantine.
Hyderabad has also mandated that people register on the national Aarogya Setu mobile application and state-specific online portals for contact tracing purposes. This was essential if they were willing to travel interstate. The people willing to travel internationally also registered on this mobile application. They have to upload their negative test reports taken 72 hours before travel.
Hyderabad has applied a strict home quarantine policy for people moving. Those individuals who are travelling for emergency purposes must apply to the authorities. Meanwhile, the citizens, residents, and long-term visa holders of foreign countries looking to exit Hyderabad must confirm entry eligibility with the intended destination country’s embassy and book their tickets through air carriers’ websites.
Some people may opt for on-arrival testing. This is available at several airports across India, including Hyderabad and Mumbai. They have to pre-book their tests with the Air Sudhva portal and wait for at least 6 hours to gain approval before they exit the airport.
The Union Home Ministry has issued a general advisory for inter-state travel across India. There are no restrictions for travelling between the states, but each state must implement additional restrictions.
The people who travel to Hyderabad must minimize their outdoor activities as much as possible. They must also abide by national and international safety measures. Those who enter Hyderabad reconfirm their business appointments, deliveries, work, and travel arrangements.
They cannot exit their accommodation without confirming onward travel. Plus, the authorities strictly advise delaying the further travel plans if the travellers demonstrate symptoms of COVID-19.
Apart from this, the travellers must maintain contact with the diplomatic representation and ensure contingency plans accounting for the disruptive measures or extensions of the current restrictions. They should carry all their documents for checkpoints and heed all security advisories.
Travelling to public places also requires wearing a mask and carrying sanitisers. There will be points where the officials check the temperature of the people to ensure they aren’t posing a threat to the other people. COVID travel has turned into havoc. Nonetheless, planning and knowing all the regulations can help travellers follow their schedules.
International flights for Hyderabad
There are several flights serving the residents of Hyderabad for international travel. For instance, IndiGo flies to and from Hyderabad. It requires conducting thermal screening for all the passengers.
If they are travelling on a connected flight and not leaving the plane during transit, they have to refer to the guidelines of the arrival state.
Some other airlines that operate in Hyderabad following certain COVID restrictions include British Airways and Air India. Singapore Airlines also operates thrice a week, and Scoot operates four weekly flights to Singapore.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) has set up dedicated COVID-19 testing booths at the pre-immigration international hall. Besides this, the screening of the passengers also allows the airport authorities to determine those at risk of spreading the disease.
The Indian Covid International Travel restrictions have made travel challenging for business people. Even people who travel for leisure purposes have to abide by certain conditions.
From vaccination certificates to on-site testing, COVID travel has brought a whole new set of formalities. Initially, the people moving out of Hyderabad had to limit their outdoor activities to limit the contraction of the virus. With time, the state implemented policies like wearing a mask and checkpoints to scrutinize temperatures, which have allowed travelling within the state.
In particular, Hyderabad travel restrictions are a must to follow if you are a resident here or travel regularly. Knowing all the procedures will allow you to make an informed decision and prepare beforehand. For example, one must arrange the IATA pass to get aboard an international flight. Alternatively, you should have an e-pass if you are travelling within India.
In a nutshell, knowing Indian Covid travel restrictions is essential if you want to know how to move out of Hyderabad during a pandemic. This will enlighten you about the national policies and state-specific regulations.
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