India resumed regular international flights from Sunday, after a hiatus of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are FIVE pertinent points you have to know about this news:

1) India halted international flights on March 2020 due to the pandemic. The decision to fully resume flights was taken on March 8, 2022.

2) According to the authorities, the resumption of travel is due to the drop in COVID-19 cases and the success of the Indian vaccination drive.

3) Six Indian airlines will start connecting India with 63 countries from Sunday. At the same time, 60 foreign airlines from 40 countries, including Malaysia, will be allowed to weekly flights to India.

4) India has also eased COVID-19 safety rules at airports and in flights, such as doing away with having three vacant seats inside an aircraft for physical distancing. Wearing face masks and practising social distancing is still mandatory.

5) Cabin crew members also no longer need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), kits, and security personnel at airports can resume pat-down search of passengers when needed. Airlines, however, may carry a few extra PPE protective gears, sanitisers and N-95 masks, in case of any respiratory infection cases on air, for passengers as well as the crew.

The international flights resumption was supposed to happen in December last year, but the decision had to be postponed due to the surge of the Omicron variant.

India remains the second worst hit country in the world by the coronavirus, after the United States. More than 43 million people have been infected, while over 521,000 have died from the disease.

The current situation, however, has comparatively eased, with cases trending downwards since January this year.

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