EghtesadOnline: The National Coronavirus Headquarters has not issued any ban on public transportation companies from offering services during the upcoming Iranian New Year holidays (March 21-April 2), known as Norouz.
“Compliance with guidelines related to Covid-19 is the only requirement for operations of air, rail and road transport providers,” Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami told IRIB News.
“As many as 33 million trips are expected to be made during the holidays,” he added.
However, “unlike previous years, no special flights or extra capacity have been planned for holidays,” Maqsoud Asadi-Samani, secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines, told Fars News Agency.
“Only scheduled flights will be operated during Norouz,” he said.
Meanwhile, coach trips to neighboring countries, such as Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Azerbaijan, will not take place this holiday season, Ahmadreza Ameri, the head of Iran’s Intercity Transportation Union, says.
“The number of passengers on board all coaches to destinations within the country should be limited to 50% of the seating capacity,” he was quoted as saying by Etemad Online.
Flights for Norouz holidays will not be canceled, said the spokesman of CAO recently.
“There is a possibility that flights to certain provinces could be restricted or canceled due to complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But for this, there is a need for the National Coronavirus Headquarters orders,” Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
If any flights are canceled, he added, passengers will get a full refund of their ticket fees.
“There will be no direct foreign flights to Antalya or London from Iran. Yet there will be connection flights to these destinations. It must be noted that passengers using connection flights to London can only purchase a one-way ticket to that destination and no passengers are allowed to enter the country from the UK,” Zibakhsh told IRNA.
Iran initially suspended flights to and from the UK on Dec. 22, 2020, over the new Covid-19 strain in the European country. These were placed for short periods but were renewed multiple times.
The government recently suspended flights to and from 32 high-risk countries with the aim of curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic until further notice.
According to Spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Civil Aviation Organization Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh, these countries include the UK, South Africa, Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guinea, Lesotho, Guyana, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Seychelles, Suriname, Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe, IRNA reported.
The measure has been taken at the request of the National Coronavirus Headquarters.
“Before boarding the plane, all Iranian or foreign passengers who want to travel to Iran need to have a RT-PCR test result on them carried out in authorized laboratories and translated into English, proving they are Covid 19-free,” Zibakhsh said.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways started selling train tickets for the Iranian New Year holidays from Feb. 23, according to the IRIR chief.
“These tickets have been sold for the period between March 15 and April 4, which is the peak of New Year holiday vacations,” Saeed Rasouli was quoted as saying by the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
The official noted that over the 21 days, close to 4,270 trains (203 trains per day) will transport passengers to their destinations and back.
“We estimate that a total of 2.17 million passengers will be transported via railroad during the Norouz holidays. IRIR has not increased ticket prices for this year’s New Year holidays,” he said.
Rasouli noted that IRIR will make sure all the passengers are healthy and Covid-free.
All health protocols preventing the spread of the pandemic will be observed by rail officials and companies, and the same is expected from passengers.