As the United Kingdom reported a potent new strain of the coronavirus that can cause up to a whopping 70% more transmission than the old strain, several countries banned flights to and from the UK immediately, including India.
As per the latest reports, India has extended the travel ban with the UK till January 7. Along with this, Karnataka has issued new COVID rules for international arrivals and the Delhi and Mumbai airports have announced new facilities to ensure strict COVID safety standards along with passenger convenience.
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Here are all the details:
1. Ban on flights to and from the UK till January 7
Hardeep Singh Puri, the Civil Aviation Minister, has announced that flights between India and the UK will remain suspended till January 7, 2021 due to a new, potent coronavirus strain being reported in the UK. He further added that the flights between the two countries will resume under strict regulation thereafter. The ban was earlier in effect till December 31, 2020.
Check the official tweet below:
Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to & from the UK till 7 January 2021.
Thereafter strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) December 30, 2020
2. Delhi airport launches new passenger tracking system
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has installed a new passenger tracking system (PTS) at Terminal 3 of the airport. The tracking system will help manage the flow of passengers, reduce waiting time and ensure adequate social distancing.
The PTS is a queue management system that will display live waiting time at various places such as the check-in counters, security check gates etc. on digital screens. This will enable the airport to quickly identify crowded areas and manage them swiftly so as to cause minimal inconvenience to travellers.
3. Karnataka makes COVID negative report mandatory for international arrivals
As a precautionary measure following the reports of the potent COVID strain in the UK, the Karnataka government has made a negative COVID report mandatory for all incoming international passengers to the state. The COVID negative report must be issued within 72 hours before departure.
In case the passengers do not have the report on arrival, they will have to undergo RT-PCR testing for the virus on Bengaluru and Mangaluru International Airports.
While earlier the negative report was only required for arrivals from the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands, since these countries had confirmed cases of coronavirus infections due to the new strain, it was later revised to be applicable on travellers from all nations as a safety measure.
SpiceJet airlines confirmed the new restriction on its official Twitter handle:
Important update for international passengers travelling to Karnataka. pic.twitter.com/LE5fS83VIZ
— SpiceJet (@flyspicejet) December 24, 2020
4. Mumbai airport introduces new COVID testing facility that provides results in just 13 minutes
International passengers arriving at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai can now get their COVID-19 test report in just 13 minutes, thanks to the new express testing facility being launched by the airport authorities.
The new facility is priced at Rs.4500 and will be available 24×7 at Level 2 (arrivals) near exit Gate B on the airport. It is in compliance with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) standards.
With this new facility, which also uses the RT-PCR method, passengers now have the option for quick and accurate diagnosis in just 13 minutes. However, they can also continue to opt for the regular RT-PCR testing facility at the airport, which takes about 6-8 hours to provide results.
We advise our passengers to keep these changes in mind the next time they travel. Have a safe and comfortable travel experience!
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