The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Monday suspends all flights originating from the UK (United Kingdom) to India till 31st December 2020 due to the spread of a new strain of coronavirus identified in the European country, which is considered up to 70% more infectious than the original strain.
By suspending the flights from UK India joining a host of countries that are also doing so following the discovery of a new variant of the Sars-CoV-2.
“Considering the prevailing situation in the UK, (the) Govt. of India has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India (will be) suspended till 31st December 2020 (23.59 hours),” the ministry of civil aviation said in a tweet.
This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020. Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period.— MoCA_GoI (@MoCA_GoI) December 21, 2020Advertisement
“As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from the 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.” MoCA further added.
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 govt, 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.
We have decided to take all necessary precautions as a result of the situation arising out of the spread of a new strain of coronavirus in some countries. All flights originating from U.K into India will be suspended temporarily from 22 Dec to 31 Dec 2020. @PMOIndia @HMOIndia https://t.co/Pn6mxKL1zM— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) December 21, 2020Advertisement
The decision came after governments of several countries like France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, Bulgaria Romania, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Canada, Iran, Turkey, among others, temporarily suspended UK-bound flights.
At present, Indian airlines like Vistara, and Air India operate flights to the UK, which have now been temporarily suspended. While Vistara operates daily flights from Delhi to London, it operates three weekly flights from Mumbai to London. National carrier Air India Limited operates three weekly flights currently each from New Delhi and Mumbai to London.
Meanwhile, British Airlines has six weekly flights between Delhi and London, and five weekly flights between Mumbai and London. Virgin Atlantic four weekly flights each from Mumbai and New Delhi to London.