Mandatory RT-PCR tests for passengers arriving from UK, announces civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri
As India on Monday temporarily suspended flights from the United Kingdom till December 31 over the discovery of a new coronavirus strain there, Union civil aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that as an interim measure, all passengers arriving from the UK on all international flights shall be subjected to mandatory RT-PCR tests on arrival.
“We have decided to take all necessary precautions as a result of the situation arriving out of the spread of a new strain of coronavirus in some countries. All flights originating from UK into India will be suspended temporarily from 22 Dec to 31 Dec 2020,” Puri tweeted on Monday. “In the interim, it has been decided that passengers arriving from UK on all international flights (flights in transit) should be subjected to mandatory RT-PCR tests on arrival,” he added.
“Those found positive on arrival should be sent for institutional quarantine set up by state/UT govts, in collaboration with the states/UTs concerned. Those found negative should be advised to isolate at home for 7 days and will be medically monitored by the states/UTs,” the minister posted in a subsequent tweet.
The discovery of the new coronavirus strain in the UK, which earlier this month became the first country to start a vaccination drive in emergency cases, has sent countries scrambling to ban flights from there. A whole host of countries, including several from Europe and now including India as well, have announced flight bans from the UK.
India had put domestic and international flights under suspension in March, when the first national lockdown was announced. In May, domestic flights were given permission to resume operations and have picked up steam since then. International travel, however, remains suspended. The government has been repatriating Indian nationals from abroad under the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission and has set up air travel bubbles with several countries.
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