Omicron effect: India puts its plan of resuming international flights on 15 December on hold
Scheduled international flights have remained suspended in India since 23 March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic
India's scheduled international flights, which was supposed to resume from 15 December, will be deferred in view of the emerging threat from the new coronavirus variant Omicron.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) via Twitter confirmed that the Indian government has put its plans to resume international flights from 15 December, on hold.
— DGCA (@DGCAIndia) December 1, 2021
In its notice, it wrote, ""In view of the evolving global scenario with the emergence of the new variant of concern, the situation is being watched closely in consultation with all stakeholders and an appropriate decision indicating the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services shall be notified in due course."
In light of the Omicron variant, the Centre had issued new rules for international travellers arriving in India, which came into place from today.
According to the new rules, passengers arriving from 'at-risk' countries had to submit to a RT-PCR test in India and if tested positive they would be isolated. Also, those who tested negative would have to undergo home isolation for seven days, followed by repeat testing on the eighth day of arrival in India, followed by seven days of self-monitoring.
Scheduled international flights have remained suspended in India since 23 March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July last year under air bubble arrangements formed with 31 countries.
On 26 November, the government had announced that it would resume scheduled international flights from 15 December.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked officials to review the decision during a meet with top officials on coronavirus last Saturday. The prime minister’s request to review the curbs on international flights came as the world began to clamp down on travel from African nations owing to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
With inputs from agencies
Omarion joked in a video that if people run into him in the streets, they don’t need to isolate for five days
Omicron Variant Updates: Reduced severity 'evolutionary mistake', COVID-19 not getting milder, says UK expert
Omicron Variant LIVE Updates: Omicron Variant LIVE Updates: Ravindra Gupta, Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases (CITIID), led a recent study on the Omicron variant and was among the first globally to describe the modified fusion mechanism of cells at play which might make Omicron more visible to the body’s immune defences
People might mistakenly think the COVID-19 vaccines will completely block infection, but the shots are mainly designed to prevent severe illness, says Louis Mansky, a virus researcher at the University of Minnesota.