Following the WHO declaration that COVID is no longer a global public health emergency, different airlines have stopped asking for COVID vaccine certificates. Like in the past, it is no longer mandatory to submit or display the vaccine certificate at the airports and to board the flights.
The Centre had issued a guideline in November, 2022 that the certificate was no longer mandatory for travellers to India. The notification by the Union health ministry encouraged travellers to India to be fully vaccinated, but a certificate was not mandatory. However, Indian travellers going abroad needed to show the certificate as per the requirement of the country visited.
“After the WHO declaration on May 5, most of the countries have stopped asking for a certificate and that would change things in some ways. Wearing masks and face guards would not be mandatory on flights and this would be maintained worldwide,” said an official for the Airports Authority of India.
Similarly, it would boost inbound and outbound tourism to and from India. According to Anil Punjabi, chairman, of the eastern region, of the Travel Agents Federation of India, the international borders have opened up for months now, but still India has been able to recover only 50% of the foreign tourists compared to the pre-COVID era. “We are hopeful that after this declaration by WHO, things would change. People would be relieved to know that it is safe to travel and we hope by January 2024 things would return to normal,” Punjabi added.