New Coronavirus Strain: India Suspends All U.K. Flights From Wednesday To Dec. 31
An Air India Ltd. aircraft prepares to land in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

New Coronavirus Strain: India Suspends All U.K. Flights From Wednesday To Dec. 31

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All flights from the U.K. to India and vice versa will remain suspended from Wednesday to Dec. 31, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday in view of the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus there.

Moreover, the ministry said passengers coming from the U.K. through flights till Tuesday would be tested for Covid-19 on arrival at the airports "as a measure of abundant precaution".

A number of countries like Canada, Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Israel have banned flights from the U.K. as the British government warned that the potent new strain of the virus was "out of control" and imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown from Sunday.

The Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted: "Considering the prevailing situation in U.K., Government of India has decided that all flights originating from U.K. to India to be suspended till December 31 2020 (23.59 hours)."

This suspension will start after 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 22 and consequently flights from India to the U.K. shall also stand temporarily suspended during above said period, it added.

"As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from U.K. in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before December 22 at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned," it mentioned.

The Union Health Ministry has called an urgent meeting of its Joint Monitoring Group on Monday to discuss the emergence of the new strain in the U.K., which has led to a surge in the infection rate there.

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