Amid rising coronavirus cases, Air India on April 21 announced that it has cancelled flights to London from April 24 to 30 after the UK included India in its ‘red list’ of countries. The list restricts the entry of passengers, barring UK and Irish nationals and permanent residents. While taking to Twitter, Air India informed that as many as 13 flights will be cancelled between London, Delhi and Bengaluru in this period.
#FlyAI : Passengers who were to travel between India and UK, may kindly note that in view of recent restrictions announced by UK, flts from/to UK stand cancelled from 24th to 30th April '21. Further updates regarding rescheduling, refunds & waivers will be informed shortly.(2/2)— Air India (@airindiain) April 21, 2021
#FlyAI : Due to restrictions implemented by UK authorities, following flts scheduled between 24th to 30th April'21 stands cancelled.— Air India (@airindiain) April 21, 2021
AI177/AI130 Bengaluru-London- Mumbai
The UK announced the decision to put India on the travel “red list” after the country detected nearly 103 cases of coronavirus variant first identified in India. Now, according to the UK government norms, if one arrives in the UK from India before 4am (local time) Friday, then they must self-isolate for 10 days and take the COVID-19 test on day two and day eight. But from 4am Friday, if one has been in India in the previous 10 days, they will only be allowed to enter the UK if they are British, Irish or third-country national with residency rights.
With the number of coronavirus cases in India on an upsurge, the international community is drawing the line when comes to travel from here. Apart from the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Pakistan and New Zealand have released fresh travel advisories for their citizens, asking them to avoid travelling to/from India.
On April 20, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put on an advisory saying “travellers should avoid all travel to India”. The US has put India in the ‘Level 4’ category which says “Very High Level of COVID-19 in India”. In a statement, the US CDC added, “Because of the current situation in India, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India”.
Earlier this month, New Zealand also imposed a ban on any travel from India after it detected 23 coronavirus cases among passengers arriving from outside. According to reports, 17 of the 23 cases were found positive for the Indian variant of SARS-CoV-2, prompting authorities to put a ban on travel from India.
On Sunday, the Hong Kong government activated an “emergency circuit breaker” and banned passenger flights from India for 14 days, starting April 20, raising concerns over the mutated coronavirus variant. As per reports, the decision was taken after some Indian passengers from Mumbai tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival at the Hong Kong airport. It is worth mentioning that Hong Kong has also prohibited flights from Pakistan and the Philippines.
On Monday, Pakistan imposed a ban on travellers from India for the next two weeks, citing the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus in the neighbouring country. In a statement, the national Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said that the decision was taken during a meeting of the forum, which decided to place India in the list of Category C for two weeks. The statement further added that the ban will be on inbound passengers coming from India via air and land route.