India temporarily suspends flights from UK due to newly discovered COVID-19 strain
Today, India announced that it will temporarily ban flights from the UK due to the newly discovered and highly infectious strain of the COVID-19 virus in Britain.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted, “Considering the prevailing situation in the UK, Indian govt has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India shall be temporarily suspended till 11:59 pm, 31st December. This suspension to start w.e.f. 11.59 pm, 22nd December.”
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
The ministry also said that for precautionary measures, 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 concerned airports.
Countries around the world have begun banning flights and travellers from Britain as a report from London said that the spread of a more-infectious new COVID-19 strain was now “out of control”.
France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria are some of the other nations who have announced restrictions on UK travel.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Christmas shopping and gatherings in southern England must be cancelled because of rapidly spreading infections blamed on the new COVID-19 variant.
The UK prime minister is said to hold an emergency response meeting today to discuss international travel, in particular the flow of freight in and out of Britain. EU officials are due to hold a meeting at 1000 GMT on coordinating their response.