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Flights to UK will begin from January 6 amid concerns over new mutant strain – india news


Two Air India flights — one from Delhi and one from Mumbai — will fly for London on January 6, as the Indian government is reopening India-UK flights which were closed in the last week of December amid concerns over the new mutant strain first spotted in the United Kingdom. Flights from the UK will be allowed to come to India from January 8, the civil aviation ministry has clarified.

According to UK government’s Covid-19 restrictions, people arriving in the UK need to complete a passenger locator form which requires passport details, travel details (times and dates), the address where you will stay in the UK (if applicable), a booking reference number and the name of the test provider, if you are using ‘Test to Release’ to find out if you can end self-isolation early. Test to Release is a travel scheme for international travellers who need to self-isolate. They can take a Covid-19 test with a private test provider to see if they can their self-isolation early.

In the wake of the new mutant strain of Coronavirus, which is believed to be more contagious, India put an embargo on flight operations between the two countries on December 21, which became effective from December 23. Initially, the ban was till December 31, but was later extended to January 7. The ministry has clarified that while flights from the UK will be able to enter India from January 8, flights from India will start from January 6.

As of now, only 30 flights will be operational between the countries instead of 70, the number with which India and the UK resumed flight services after lockdown.

For passengers travelling to India from the UK, the health ministry has issued a detailed guideline where they will have to upload their RT-PCR test report on a portal.

Department of Biotechnology secretary Renu Swarup on Tuesday said the number of people tested positive for the new mutant strain of Coronavirus has reached 71.

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