Foresee slight extension of suspension of UK flights: Hardeep Singh Puri

UK flights suspension: Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that he foresees a short extension on the temporary suspension of flights from the United Kingdom due to a new variant of coronavirus. While addressing the media, Puri also added that the extension will not be indefinite or too long. 

The temporary suspension of flights to/from the UK may be extended marginally beyond December 31, aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a press conference on Tuesday. The government of India last week suspended passenger flights to and from the UK between December 22 midnight until 31st December fearing mutated coronavirus mutant. India took this decision after countries like Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium did the same in order to control the spread of the virus. 

“We are applying our minds on the issue of suspension of UK flights. A decision will be shortly taken after receiving the genome sequencing. But I personally foresee a small, slight extension of the temporary suspension beyond the 31st. We even went back to November 25 and did contact tracing to find those passengers,” Puri said.

Moreover, it said passengers coming from the UK through flights till Tuesday midnight would be tested for COVID-19 on arrival at airports “as a measure of abundant precaution”.

A number of countries like Canada, Turkey, Belgium, Italy, and Israel have banned flights from the UK 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.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter and wrote that those passengers who are found COVID-positive would be sent for institutional quarantine set up by the states or union territories (UTs).

“Those found negative should be advised to isolate at home for 7 days and will be medically monitored by the states/UTs,” Puri added

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