New coronavirus strain: India suspends all UK flights from Wednesday to Dec 31

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New Delhi, Dec 21 (PTI) All flights from the UK to India and vice versa will remain suspended from Wednesday to December 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 UK 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 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. The Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted: '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).' This suspension will start after 11.59 PM of December 22 and consequently flights from India to the UK shall also stand temporarily suspended during above said period, it added.

'As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from 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 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 UK, which has led to a surge in the infection rate there. PTI DSP RDM RDM