Indian nationals in Sauudi,Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain,Oman and other foreign countries who wish to return home are required to follow a number of procedures before and after their travel to their home country, as part of the repatriation efforts organised under COVID-19, the country’s Union Home Minister has announced.
A list of instructions was shared by Dr Harsh Vardhan, who stated, “The Union Home ministry has issued overseas travel standard operating procedures for citizens.”
As Per the instructions issued, Indian citizens in other countries have to register themselves at their respective Indian missions, along with the necessary details, so that they can travel on non-scheduled commercial flights or ships. These will be organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Department of Military Affairs and the Ministry of Shipping.
Only those crew that have tested COVID-19 negative will be allowed to operate these ships and planes.
“Priority will be given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers/labourers who’ve been laid off, short-term visa holders faced with expiry of visas, persons with medical emergencies, pregnant women, the elderly, those required to return to India due to the death of a family member, and students,” the instructions said.
The cost of travel will be borne by the passengers themselves, and those who are scheduled to travel home will have their details such as their name, age, date of birth, mobile phone number, city of residence and final destination compiled into a database that will be prepared by the Ministry of External Affairs, which will share this with the government of the states or union territories from which the passengers come.
The flight details will be shared on the MEA’s digital platforms at least two days before their actual date of arrival at the foreign country in which the Indian nationals who’ve been cleared to depart are based.
“All travellers will also be required to give an undertaking that they are making the journey at their own risk,” read the instructions. “Passengers arriving through land borders will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, and only those who are asymptomatic will be enabled to cross the border into India.”