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Govt allows limited resumption of flights to, from UK amid new strain fears

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that the government is reviewing the situation and it has allowed limited resumption of civil aviation with the United Kingdom

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Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that the government is reviewing the situation and it has allowed limited resumption of civil aviation with the United Kingdom.

"We took a decision on limited resumption of civil aviation traffic between India and the United Kingdom based on an assessment of available facts as available with our medical professionals. We decided that RT-PCR test which was done 72 hours ahead of travelling was not enough," Puri told ANI.

"So, we made it compulsory to test again on arrival. We will review the situation if any steps have to be taken. So far it is the limited resumption of civil aviation with the UK. The total number of flights to UK has been reduced from 60 a week to 30," he added.

"If the situation demands that we need to take more steps, we are constantly reviewing the situation," the minister added.

When asked to comment on the new strain of COVID-19 detected in the UK, Puri said: "Our medical professionals clearly stated that the vaccines which are coming will take care of the new strain. We are capable in terms of procedures and SOPs in place dealing with it. When the new evidence comes up, our professionals will look at it."

The Union Minister had earlier informed that resumption of flights between India and UK from January 6.

"Resumption of flights between India and UK: India to UK from 6 Jan 2021. UK to India from 8 Jan 2021. 30 flights will operate every week. 15 each by Indian and UK carriers. This schedule is valid till 23 Jan 2021. Further frequency will be determined after review," he tweeted.

A total of 38 samples have been found to be positive with the new UK variant genome of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, confirmed the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, January 06 2021. 06:17 IST
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