Flights originating from UK are suspended in India till 31st December over new strain of Covid-19

The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday announced to temporarily suspend all flights originating from the UK to India till 11:59 pm, 31st December.

“Considering the prevailing situation in the UK, Indian govt has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India shall be temporarily suspended till 11:59 pm, 31st December. This suspension to start w.e.f. 11.59 pm, 22nd December.” The ministry said in a statement.

Following the prior statement “As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 11.59 pm) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at airports”

Many countries have stopped all international flights between fears over a highly infectious new mutant strain of the novel coronavirus which has been discovered in Britain.

Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, France, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Israel are among the nations that have placed restrictions on travel with the UK.

The decision on travel ban has been taken over fears of a fast-spreading variant of COVID-19.

On December 19, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced that the newly identified strain of the virus may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible.

According to British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the new variant was “out of control”.

The ministry of civil aviation on Monday also noted passengers from all transit flights arriving from UK scheduled to reach India by December 22 will be subjected to mandatory RT-PCR tests on arrival.

“As a measure of precaution, passengers arriving from UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before December 22) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports.

Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri said that passengers who test positive will be sent for institutional quarantine.

“Those found positive on arrival should be sent for institutional quarantine set up by state/UT govts, in collaboration with the states/UTs concerned. Those found negative should be advised to isolate at home for 7 days & will be medically monitored by the States/UTs,” he tweeted.

This new strain of virus and flights cancellations have come at a time, when the Indian government is planning to start normal international flights with COVID infections in the country on a declining trend and start of vaccination in the UK and the US. India has also announced that the vaccine will be available from January next year.

Written by : Garima Arora