New Delhi, December 21: Air India on Monday announced all scheduled flights to and from Oman are suspended as the Sultanate closed borders for a week over fears about the fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus. "All Air India flights to and from Oman will stand suspended after the decision of the Sultanate to close all travel outlets from 0100hrs on 22nd December 2020, for a period of one week," Air India said in a statement. No Evidence That New Variant of Coronavirus More Deadly, Says WHO Official.
In order to stop transmission of the new variant of coronavirus, Oman has halted passenger traffic through its air, land and seaports for a week starting tomorrow. Freight services, however, are exempted from the ban. Earlier today, India's Ministry of Civil Aviation announced to suspend all flights from the UK to India till December 31 in the wake of the new mutant strain of coronavirus.
The suspension will come into effect from 23.59 hours on December 22, 2020. Consequently, all flights from India to the UK shall also stand temporarily suspended during the period, the government said. The new variant of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infection, the detection of which was confirmed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on December 19, has spread quickly in London and south-east England.
Johnson said that the newly identified strain of the virus may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Sunday said the new variant was "out of control".