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'Planning to go back': Panic among international passengers amidst fear of Omicron-induced restrictions

People who have flown to India from the middle-east and other countries are mulling of returning before any travel bans are imposed due to the new Covid-19 variant Omicron.

Published: 28th November 2021 01:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2021 01:24 PM   |  A+A-

Swab samples been collected from the passengers who arrived at Chennai Airport International Airport. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

Swab samples been collected from the passengers who arrived at Chennai Airport International Airport. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

By Online Desk

CHENNAI: Uncertainty and panic pervades the minds of air travellers in the wake of the threat caused by the new Covid variant Omicron.

People who have flown to India from the middle-east and other countries are mulling of returning before any travel bans are imposed.

For instance, a kin of my friend who came to Kerala with his family from Kuwait for a one month holiday now wants to return back as quickly as possible. He fears his work will be affected. Moreover, his wife works as a nurse in Kuwait and their two children study there.

ALSO READ | Fears of Omicron loom in Karnataka after two South Africans test positive for COVID-19

"We're planning to return in the next few days," he told The New Indian Express, despite it just being a fortnight since they landed in Kochi, that too after a gap of two years.

GP Govarthanan of Rengha Holidays & Tourism Pvt Ltd, Chennai, said "generally speaking, international tourism remains affected since the past two years due to Covid-19 pandemic."

​ALSO READ | New COVID-19 variant, Omicron, spreads to more countries as world on alert

"We're badly hit. For instance, in March 2020, 1,500 tickets got cancelled and we had to pay from our own pockets to compensate the passengers since flight companies refused to pay us in cash instead asking us to sett tickets and deduct it," Govarthanan said.

"Lately, we have been focusing on domestic tourism. But, this year domestic tourism was also hit due to the heavy rains witnessed in Tamil Nadu," he noted.

Abdul Azeez of New Rahamath Tours and Travels in Madurai said, " as of now, since we hear that the new variant is detected in South Africa, there is no panic like situation here. But we don't know how things would pan out in a week from now."

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