FICCI urges government to permit international travel

Dawki river meghalaya

The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has said that Indian and foreign airlines be allowed to operate, to revive the travel industry. The industry body said the government should allow foreigners to travel to India on a reciprocal basis.

While there has been a substantial easing of lockdown conditions in line with phase one and two, phase three remains a crucial decision for the country, it said, according to a report by news agency ANI.

FICCI said clear-cut dates should be announced by the states to open tourism, monuments, tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and bars. All restaurants and eateries in a hotel should be allowed to serve the resident as well as non-resident guests at 50% seating capacity while maintaining social distancing norms and all necessary precautions.

Permission should be granted for hosting all kinds of banquet and conference in the hotel. COVID-19 test before arrival is an expensive and inconvenient requirement. This should be removed, said FICCI, as per the ANI report. However, temperature checks, use of masks and social distancing should be mandated.

Metro rail services may be opened. Stations at containment zones should remain closed and trains need not stop at these stations. Services may start with less than 50% capacity initially and could be gradually increased.

FICCI said the government may decide to open educational institutions and schools depending on the local situation of COVID-19 cases.

It also called for opening cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places with proper safety and hygiene measures in place.