INDIA: The Indian government has decided to resume the India-UK flights which were suspended in December. The flights from the UK were suspended due to the spread of the ‘highly infectious’ new COVID-19 mutant strain.
The new mutant COVID-19 strain is believed to be more contagious. India had put an embargo on flight operations between the two countries on December 21. Initially, the Flight ban was till December 31 but was later extended to January 7.
On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry confirmed that a total of 58 samples were found to be positive with the new UK variant genome of the COVID-19 strain.
As per their official Twitter handle, two Air India flights flew for London on January 6. Today, an Air India flight from the UK landed in Delhi with 246 passengers on board.
In a statement, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) passenger advisory mentioned that passengers are advised to maintain a gap of a minimum of 10 hours between their international flight’s time of arrival and the connecting domestic flight’s time of departure. IGI has also announced that the passengers need to undergo a compulsory RT-PCR test in the UK as well as in India. The cost of the test will be around ₹3,400 per person.
Earlier, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri had said that only 30 flights will operate between India and the UK from January 8. This flight arrangement is expected to continue till January 23.
“Resumption of flights between India and UK: India to the UK from 6 Jan 2021. The UK to India from 8 Jan 2021. 30 flights will operate every week. 15 each by Indian and UK carriers. This schedule is valid till 23 Jan 2021. The further frequency will be determined after review,” the minister had tweeted earlier.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Centre to extend the flight ban to Britain till January 31 to curb the spread of the new COVID-19 strain. The UK variant has reportedly infected more than 70 UK returnees to India.