COVID-19 | Many countries resume international air travel but it’s a slippery road ahead

India has resumed domestic flight operations from May 25 and is looking to resume international flights in the second half of June. However, with over 5.2 million cases around the world over 3 lakh deaths, the question that is being asked is about the feasibility of resuming international air travel.

Which other countries are operating international flights presently and what are the issues being faced by the passengers and nations involved in this process?

NewsMobile takes a closer look:

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In the month of May, India’s neighboring nations have started slowly opening up international travel with stringent conditions in place.

China and South Korea are operating international travel. The South Korean capital of Seoul is now connected with 10 other Chinese cities.

Australia and New Zealand with fewer cases have agreed to operate flights. However, the modalities are still being worked out.

Also, the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also begun flight operations.

European Union is now considering issuing fresh guidelines for permitting flights to operate between the member states.

The US has been operating international flights and recently suspended flights to Brazil. Earlier flights from Europe, Russia and Iran had been banned.

What are the problems being faced?

With lockdown measures and containment strategies in place, nations are worried about resurgence of cases from hotspots such as Italy, New York and other places.

Already China and Australia have reported an increase in imported cases because of residents who have come from New York.

Many nations are also insisting on institutional quarantine which is being compulsory for the incoming fliers.

South Korea, for example, has a compulsory period of 14 days quarantine and China has followed suit.

Lack of uniform global guidelines for international air travel resumption in times of Covid-19 has hampered this process to a great degree.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is framing certain rules which should be available by the end of this month.

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