India has decided to resume flights to and from the United Kingdom (UK) from January 8, 2021. It has come after the decision to suspend the flights between the two nations was announced on December 22, 2020 due to the outbreak of new Covid strain.

The Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri recently offered more clarification and said flights from India to the UK can start on January 6, while operations from the UK to India will begin on January 8. The schedule is valid till January 23. Till then 30 flights will operate every week, including 15 each by Indian and UK carriers, the minister said.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued the standard operating procedure for epidemiological surveillance and response to the new variant of the novel coronavirus in the context of regulated resumption of flights from the UK to India, January 8 onward.

All passengers will have to submit a self-declaration form on the online portal at least 72 hours before the scheduled travel. Carrying a negative RT-PCR test report is must, a copy of which is to be uploaded on the portal.

The flight services between the two countries were suspended on December 22 in the wake of a more infectious coronavirus strain found in the UK's population.

So far, 71 people in India have tested positive for the new strain of virus.

National carrier Air India has opened bookings for flights between India and the UK.

The carrier will operate Mumbai-London Heathrow and Delhi-London Heathrow service on January 6; London Heathrow-Mumbai and London Heathrow-Delhi service on January 7; and Mumbai-London Heathrow and London Heathrow-Mumbai service on January 8.

Air India has stated that these flights are in addition to the regular flights.