New Delhi, January 2, 2021
Despite the news of the discovery of the new strain of coronavirus in the UK air travel between India and the UK has not been deterred. Air India flight with 246 passengers on board is due to land in Delhi soon and several other flights throughout the week will follow.
The Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri has informed that the air traffic between India and the UK will continue till the 23rd of January. There will be a total of 30 flights operating, every week. There will be 15 flights operated by UK carriers and 15 flights by Indian carriers.
The flights from the UK to India were suspended on December 23rd after the discovery of the faster spreading new strain of the virus found in the UK and were scheduled to resume today. The flights from India to the UK however, resumed on Wednesday. As a matter of concern, the total number of people infected by the new variant of the virus discovered in the UK has escalated to 73.
With Delhi airport being the main hub of this travel, the airport authorities have advised passengers to ensure that they have a margin of 10 hours at least between their arrival flight and their connecting flight.
The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has requested the Centre to extend the ban on the flights till 31st of January keeping the extreme gravity of the situation in mind that has been caused by the new and highly contagious virus. Kejriwal while expressing concern went on to add that with great difficulty the situation in India was beginning to come under control but with the lifting of the ban on air travel the citizens would once again be exposed to high risk.
The capital – New Delhi has reported 13 cases of infection with the new UK virus. In a tweet put out by the Civil Aviation Minister it was mentioned that the situation of air travel will be reviewed.
Meanwhile the rule of a COVID-19 negative test done 72 hours prior to arrival, a self-paid COVID-19 test on arrival, and a self-quarantine of 24 days even for those who test negative is still in place. These mandatory rules are as per the guidelines and standard procedures laid out by the Government of India.