The flight operations between India and the United Kingdom that were suspended last month by the centre over the detection of a highly contagious coronavirus strain in the European country, will resume from January 8, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed on Friday.
"It has been decided that flights between India & UK will resume from 8 Jan 2021. Operations till 23 Jan will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two countries to & from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Hyderabad only. @DGCAIndia will issue the details shortly," he tweeted.
It has been decided that flights between India & UK will resume from 8 Jan 2021.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 1, 2021
Operations till 23 Jan will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two countries to & from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Hyderabad only. @DGCAIndia will issue the details shortly
The centre had initially announced the ban on flights from the UK from December 23 till December 31. On Wednesday, the government extended the suspension of flights till January 7.
The strain -- which was first detected in September and confirmed by the UK authorities in December -- is said to be more infectious than other strains of the virus. It was first detected in India last week in a traveller who had returned from the European country recently.
Four new cases of the strain were detected in India on Friday, taking the total of those affected to 29.
All 29 patients have been kept in isolation at designated health facilities.
Apart from India, cases of the new strain have also been found in Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
The centre has started a genome sequencing project involving 10 laboratories across the country to tackle the strain.
The government has also undertaken a massive drive to trace all 33,000 passengers who had arrived from the UK between November 25 and December 23 midnight. All these passengers will be tested for the virus.