India suspends all flights from UK till December 31 over new COVID strain
File photo of passengers queuing outside Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in London, Britain on June 8, 2020.Tim Ireland/Xinhua/IANS

India suspends all flights from UK till December 31 over new COVID strain

New Delhi, December 21, 2020

The Government today decided to suspend all flights originating from the United Kingdom to India till December 31 in view of the discovery of a new strain of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in that country.

"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)," the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The suspension will be with effect from midnight tomorrow night, it said.

Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period, the Ministry said.

"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," the Ministry added.

"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," Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

"In the interim, it has been decided that passengers arriving from UK on all international flights (flights in transit) should be subjected to mandatory RT PCR tests on arrival.

"Those found positive on arrival should be sent for institutional quarantine set up by state/UT govts, 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 added.

The Indian government's decision comes in the wake of the decision by several European countries to bar passenger flights from the UK.

They include Austria, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands.

Israel has also suspended flights from the UK and other countries are said to be considering similar moves.


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