COVID-19 Mutant Spread: India Extends UK Flight Ban Till Jan 7

India - aviatorsbuzz

India on Wednesday announced that a decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to and from the UK till January 7, 2021 and that strictly regulated resumption will follow thereafter.

Details of a strictly regulated resumption post January 7, 2021 will be announced shortly, Minister of Civil Aviation (Independent Charge), Hardeep Singh Puri said in a Tweet.

On Tuesday, Mr. Puri had hinted at the possibility of extending the temporary flight suspension to the UK beyond December 31 as a means of safeguarding its citizens from the new and highly infectious COVID-19 mutant spread.

India Hints At Extending Ban

At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Puri had said, “I foresee a short extension on this temporary suspension. I don’t see the extension to be long or indefinite.”

Meanwhile, India today reported six cases of a strain of COVID-19, which is 70% more transmissible and was first reported in UK. All six patients had recently returned from Britain.

As per a government statement, three samples in NIMHANS of Bengaluru, two in CCMB, Hyderabad and one in NIV, Pune have been detected out of all the samples tested. All the six infected people have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments in the country. The close contacts of the infected ones have also been put under quarantine.

The government is doing a comprehensive contact tracing exercise for their co-travellers, family, among others.

India on December 21 ordered to impose a temporary suspension on flights coming from UK after the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus in Britain. The suspension of flights came into effect from December 22 midnight and will continue till December 31, the government added.

India - Minister of Civil Aviation (Independent Charge), Hardeep Singh Puri addressing a press conference - aviatorsbuzz
File photo of Minister of Civil Aviation (Independent Charge), Hardeep Singh Puri addressing a press conference. Source: MoCA

Further, the ministry also added that 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 December 22 at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned.

Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Italy are some of the countries that have temporarily suspended flights to UK.

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