India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has decided to further extend the ban on scheduled international flights until 31st January,2021.
“In partial modification of circular dated 26-06-2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the subject cited above regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India until 2359 hours IST of January 31, 2021”, reads an official notification by the aviation ministry titled ‘Travel and Visa restrictions related to Covid-19.
According to the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), “International scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis.”.
The DGCA further states that the ban applies to scheduled international flights to/from India – international cargo operations and DGCA-approved international flights will still be allowed to fly.
Currently, India is carrying out international flight operations under the Vande Bharat Mission and has also established several air travel bubbles with different countries including United States, United Kingdom, Qatar, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Japan, Maldives, Netherlands, Oman, UAE, Germany, Iraq, Bangladesh, Bhutan, France, Canada and Kenya.
International travel is slowing down amid concerns of a new COVID-19 variant
Countries across the globe have been shutting borders as a newly-detected and fast-spreading COVID-19 variant has been found in the United Kingdom. This has led to over 40 countries shutting down its borders and banning flights to the United Kingdom.
India recently extended the ban on UK flights until 7th January,2021 in order to curb the spread of the new COVID-19 variant; United States is now requiring a negative COVID-19 test result from all passengers arriving from the UK; Netherlands is now requiring a negative COVID-19 test result even from transit passengers; Philippines has extended UK travel ban to 19 more countries until 15th January,2021; Japan has banned entry of foreign travellers until end-January and Turkey will now require a negative COVID-19 test result for travel.