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India all set to resume international flights from December 15, except 14 countries

On Thursday, South Africa confirmed a new variant of coronavirus which is believed to be more transmissible and vaccine evasive. India is not resuming regular international flight operations with Botswana and South Africa.

India all set to resume international flights from December 15, except 14 countries-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 26, 2021, 6:20 PM IST
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New Delhi: India will resume scheduled international flights from December 15, barring 14 countries, the Civil Aviation Ministry said Friday evening. But flights only from countries where the Covid situation is under control will be allowed. In a statement, the Civil Aviation Ministry said the matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“The matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and it has been decided that scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India may be resumed from December 15, 2021,” the statement read.

The countries that have been exempted from the list include the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, South Africa, Brazil, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Singapore.

Also read: Ex-Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh’s non-bailable warrant in extortion case cancelled

A new Covid variant detected so far in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana has caused renewed concern. The government has asked states to do “rigorous screening and testing” of passengers coming from these places or after transiting through them. Some countries have started stopping flights to South Africa.

Some countries - including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Israel - have already moved to ban flights to and from six African countries, including South Africa.

The announcement comes two days after the Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said international flight operations are expected to return to normalcy soon, “by the end of this year”.

The Centre has weighed in the Covid situation very carefully before deciding on resumption of scheduled international flights, which were suspended in March 2020.

Restrictions were eased gradually - as the caseload dropped and vaccination coverage increased, with 'air bubble' arrangements with other countries. India currently has 28 such deals.

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