14 Jun 2021: COVID-19: Which Indian states are allowing vaccinated travelers?
Months after the launch of India's COVID-19 vaccination drive, at least seven states and union territories have allowed the entry of vaccinated travelers without a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test. Notably, India has fully vaccinated just over 3% of its population, while over 15% have been administered at least one dose. The travel guidelines for vaccinated individuals, however, vary across different states/UTs.
Guidelines: Chhattisgarh exempts fully-vaccinated travelers from testing
States/UTs that have exempted vaccinated travelers from the previously mandated negative COVID-19 test report rule include Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, and Rajasthan. Last month, Chhattisgarh had relaxed travel guidelines allowing entry to incoming travelers if they are fully vaccinated. All three COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in India—Serum Insitute of India's Covishield (developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca), Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, and Russia's Sputnik V—involve two doses.
Guidelines: Here are the guidelines for other states
In Punjab and Chandigarh, travelers are allowed if they have a vaccination certificate of at least one dose, which is over two weeks old. Rajasthan allows fully-vaccinated travelers 28 days after the second dose. In Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Odisha, travelers should be fully vaccinated. However, Meghalaya requires vaccinated travelers from Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Kerala to be tested.
Fact: Centre working on travel guidelines for vaccinated persons
Reportedly, the central government is also working on its own set of travel guidelines for vaccinated persons to be exempt from the requirements of RT-PCR testing. However, the final decision on the matter reportedly rests with independent state governments.
Aviation industry: Aviation industry expects recovery with increased vaccinations, reducing infections
Earlier last week, the CEO of budget flier IndiGo, Ronojoy Dutta, had said, "We are hopeful that with the reducing trend in COVID-19 cases and the increased pace of vaccination, passenger confidence and airline traffic will gain further momentum by early July." On June 12, the number of daily domestic flight passengers had exceeded one lakh for the first time since May.
Vaccination: 3.6% of India's population vaccinated against COVID-19
India had launched its vaccination drive on January 16. The drive was initially including only healthcare/frontline workers, however, it has opened gradually to include all adults above the age of 18 years. India has fully vaccinated 3.6% of its total population, while 15.5% have received at least one dose. Amid concerns over emerging coronavirus variants, experts have criticized the pace of vaccination.
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