New coronavirus strain: BIG DEVELOPMENT! India suspends all UK flights for these dates
The action has been taken in view of the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus there.
In a major development in the Indian aviation sector, the Civil Aviation Ministry said that all flights from the UK to India and vice versa will remain suspended from Wednesday to December 31. The action has been taken in view of the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus there.
As per the updated circular by @DGCAIndia, during the transition period ie. upto 2359 hrs IST of 22 December 2020, all passengers arriving to India from United Kingdom shall be compulsorily subjected to RT PCR test at the arrival port in India. https://t.co/sxyH5KAipq
— MoCA_GoI (@MoCA_GoI) December 21, 2020
Moreover, the ministry said passengers coming from the UK through flights till Tuesday would be tested for COVID-19 on arrival at the airports "as a measure of abundant precaution".
A number of countries like Canada, Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Israel have banned flights from the UK as the British government warned that the potent new strain of the virus was "out of control" and imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown from Sunday.
The Civil Aviation Ministry 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)."
This suspension will start after 11.59 PM of December 22 and consequently flights from India to the UK shall also stand temporarily suspended during above said period, it added.
"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 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned," it mentioned.
The Union Health Ministry has called an urgent meeting of its Joint Monitoring Group on Monday to discuss the emergence of the new strain in the UK, which has led to a surge in the infection rate there.
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
Commenting on the development, Nishant Pitti, CEO, EaseMyTrip.com, "The impact of the current flight cancellation to UK will have a negligible impact on Tourist Traffic. Due to current environment of Covid and the Quarantine rules and off season Tourism to UK in any case had not picked up."
"We had in any case foreseen an increase in International Tourism only in summer of 2021 with normalcy by winter of 2021. Now we see a faster growth and demand for Domestic Tourism, especially when the international option is limited. Travellers are aspiring to travel and take a break and the focus will be choosing Indian destination.We at EaseMyTrip have already reached to 85% in domestic flight bookings of pre covid levels. Domestic tourism will pick up in coming months and summer vacations in India," Pitti said.
Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,00,55,560 with 24,337 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease crossed 96 lakh, according to Union health ministry data updated on Monday. The death toll increased to 1,45,810 with 333 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 96,06,111, pushing the national recovery rate to 95.53 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent, according to the data. The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 4 lakh for the 15th consecutive day.
There are 3,03,639 active coronavirus cases in the country which comprise 3.02 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.
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