Passengers travelling abroad will need to carry a negative RT-PCR test report with a QR code from Saturday, the Union ministry of civil aviation said in a set of guidelines issued last week to ensure minimum physical contact. "The airline operators are advised to accept only those passengers who are carrying a negative RT-PCR test report with QR code for boarding international flights departing from India after 0001 hours on 22nd May 2021," the ministry said in a release.
Airlines operating in international sectors were advised to make the necessary arrangements. The rule applied to those passengers who are required to carry a negative RT-PCR test report as per the guidelines issued by their destination countries, the release added.
Many laboratories have now started providing QR codes on RT-PCR test reports after cases of people editing the reports to show a negative result to meet the regulatory requirements have been reported.
Covid-19 manager at Pune's Krsnaa Diagnostics, Shravan Mutha, said that his lab had taken up the practice to counter fake-negative reports. "The QR code takes you to our portal, where the patient can get the details," he said.
As the second wave of the pandemic continues to rage in the country, the ban on international commercial passenger flights remains in place till May 31. Several countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, the UAE and Britain, have also banned flights from India to curb the spread of the highly contagious Covid-19 strain that was first found in the country.