Canada has announced that it is considering lifting the flight ban on India which has been in effect since April 2021. The country is preparing to resume nonstop flights from India from 27th September 2021 and is presently testing out new protocols.
Nonstop flights likely to resume between India and Canada
On 23rd April 2021, nonstop flights between India and Canada were suspended following the second wave of COVID-19 in India. Since then, the ban has been extended many times and the last time, it was extended till 21st September 2021. The ban has again been extended until 26th September 2021. However, this time, it has been extended to buy some more time to see if the new travel protocols are working.
On Tuesday 21st September 2021, Transport Canada in a statement said:
As a first step, on September 22, 2021, three direct flights from India will arrive in Canada and all passengers on these flights will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to ensure that the new measures are working.
If the Canadian authorities are satisfied with the test results of the passengers arriving on these flights and everything works out the way they want it to be, nonstop flights between the two countries could resume on 27th September 2021.
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Present entry requirements to enter Canada
Canada has reopened its borders to almost everyone around the world. Of course, the entry requirements differ for various countries so if you are travelling to Canada in the near future, it is recommended that you check the guidelines beforehand.
According to Transport Canada, passengers boarding a flight from New Delhi will have to adhere to the following rules:
- All the travellers must present a negative COVID-19 molecular test from the approved Genestrings Laboratory at the Delhi airport taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of their nonstop flight to Canada
- Prior to boarding, air operators will be checking the travellers’ test results ensuring they are eligible to enter Canada, and that fully vaccinated travellers have uploaded their information into the ArriveCAN mobile app or website. Those who are unable to meet these requirements will be denied boarding.
Note that passengers must get tested themselves at the approved lab at Delhi airport, as tests from any other lab in India will not be accepted.
Transport Canada has also laid down rules for anyone travelling to the country via an indirect route, stating:
After the resumption of direct flights, travellers who are eligible to enter Canada who depart India for Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada.
If these trials are successful and nonstop flights do resume between India and Canada, it will be a huge relief for many travellers who do not want to spend thousands of dollars by going via a third country.
Canada normally sees massive arrivals from India annually. Students and the VFR (Visiting Friends and Relative) traffic contributes a sizeable portion to it. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Canada and Air India operated flights connecting India with Toronto and Vancouver.
Featured image by Air Canada
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