Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced on Wednesday that the Centre has extended the temporary suspension of flights to and from the United Kingdom till January 7, 2021. The flights operations were suspended because of a new strain of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
“Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to & from the UK till 7 January 2021. Thereafter strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly,” Puri said on Twitter.
India had suspended all flights from Britain last week until the end of the month as the new variant of the virus detected in the UK triggered widespread concern and travel restrictions across the world.
“Considering the prevailing situation in the UK, the government of India has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India shall be temporarily suspended till December 31, 2020 (11.59pm). This suspension will start from 11.59pm, December 22, 2020,” the civil aviation ministry had announced.
The Union health ministry said on Tuesday all international passengers who have arrived in India during the last 14 days – from December 9 to December 22 this year, if symptomatic and tested positive for the coronavirus disease will have to undergo genome sequencing.
So far, 20 cases of the new strain have been found in India, according to health ministry.
All the infected people are now in isolation, the health ministry said in a statement, adding that their fellow travellers and close contacts are being traced and quarantined. Genome sequencing on other samples is currently going on.
From November 25 to midnight of December 23, 2020 about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK.
All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states to RT-PCR tests.