India today announced that it had joined the list of countries that have temporarily banned flights from the United Kingdom after the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus in Britain. The suspension of flights from UK will come into effect from tomorrow, December 22 midnight and will continue till December 31, the government added.
"Considering the prevailing situation in the UK, Indian govt has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India shall be temporarily suspended till 11:59 pm, 31st December. This suspension to start w.e.f. 11.59 pm, 22nd December," the Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted.
The ministry also added that 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.
Earlier today, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan assured the citizens over the fears of the new strain of coronavirus in UK. He said that the government is alert and there is no need to panic. The Indian Health Ministry had held an emergency meeting today to address measures to deal with the mutant COVID-19 strain and its effects.
Other countries who have imposed the ban include Canada, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Franc, the Republic of Ireland and Italy, which has cut off UK travellers from much of Europe and other parts of the world.