India on Monday joined a growing number of countries that have announced a temporary ban on flights from UK after the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus in Britain.
India Suspends Flights
The suspension of flights from UK will come into effect from tomorrow, 22 December midnight and will continue till 31 December, the Government of India added.
“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 of Civil Aviation tweeted.
Considering the prevailing situation in UK. Govt. of India has decided that all flights originating from UK to India to be suspended till 31st December 2020 (23.59 hours).
— MoCA_GoI (@MoCA_GoI) December 21, 2020
Temporary Ban on UK Flights
With this move, India joined France, Germany, and Ireland, who have already announced that they will be restricting travel with the UK over fears of a fast-spreading variant of COVID-19.
A report by Business Insider said that the mutant coronavirus is believed to be up to 70% more transmissible than the original strain. In order to stop its spread, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that London and surrounding areas would suddenly be plunged into lockdown.
On Monday morning, officials in Denmark suspended flights from the UK for 48 hours, according to Sky News.
Dutch authorities confirmed at least one case of this COVID-19 variant had reached the Netherlands. Consequently, it was announced that flights carrying passengers from the UK would be banned until January 1, 2021.
Belgium followed suit. The country brought in a 24-hour ban on all UK entrants, starting midnight on Sunday.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told Belgian broadcaster VRT: “Of course, that could be extended should it appear that we have more conclusive data.”
Eurostar has since suspended all trains between London, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
On Sunday afternoon, Italian foreign minister Luigi di Maio said that the government would be suspending all travel from the UK to Italy. He wrote on Twitter: “As a government, we have the duty to protect Italians. For this reason, after having notified the English government… we are about to sign an order to suspend flights with Great Britain.”