India, on Wednesday, extended the ban on flights to and from Britain by a week beyond Dec. 31 following 20 cases of new mutated coronavirus strain detected over the past 24 hours.
The country’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, announced that after Jan. 7, 2021, regulated resumption of flights would take place.
“Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to and from the UK till Jan. 7, 2021.
“Thereafter, strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly,’’ tweeted Puri.
The Federal Health Ministry had recommended to the Civil Aviation Ministry the extension of the temporary suspension of flights originating from Britain till Jan. 7.
“This has been recommended based on the inputs received from the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG).
“JMG is headed by the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) and the National Task Force jointly headed by DG, ICMR and Member (Health), NITI Aayog,’’ a statement by the health ministry said.
The health ministry said it also suggested to the civil aviation ministry that after Jan. 7, strictly regulated resumption of a limited number of flights originating from Britain into India “may be considered’’.
India suspended all flights to and from Britain last week until the end of the month.
The ban came into force from Dec. 23.
The new variant of the coronavirus detected in Britain has triggered widespread concern and travel restrictions across the world.