An IndiGo plane takes off from Mumbai airport. File
India may permit regular international air travel as part of a fresh package of relaxations in containment measures against the spread of coronavirus that were announced on Wednesday.
"For further opening up of international air travel of passengers, the Ministry of Civil Aviation may take a decision in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs based on the assessment of the situation," the government’s new "Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution," which will go into effect on Feb.1 said.
India suspended all incoming and outgoing international flights as well as domestic air travel in the last week of March 2020 as part of a lockdown to combat COVID-19. Flights to and from India have since been resumed in a phased manner with about two-dozen countries under "air bubbles."
Meanwhile, India has fully opened up domestic air services.
Air bubbles are temporary travel arrangements with specific countries aimed at restarting scheduled commercial passenger services as the pandemic situation improves. Such flight arrangements are currently in force in the Gulf with the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.
Under the new guidelines from Feb.1, "all activities will be permitted outside containment zones," which are specific areas with a high spread of COVID-19 infections.
"The main focus of the new guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19. This is visible in the steady decline in number of active and new cases in the country over the last four months," the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
Fresh relaxations include the opening of swimming pools and exhibitions. Cinema halls and theatres which been running at half capacity will now be permitted to operate with higher seating.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that effective from 0300 GMT on Friday, India was being added to Britain's "red list" of countries, banning all arrivals from India except for UK or Irish nationals.
Kuwait has suspended all flights from India until further notice, Bahrain has updated International arrival procedures for passengers from India. Germany is sharply restricting travel from India and Iran has banned all flights to and from India and Pakistan.
Briefing the media on the progress of Phase IV of the mission, known as "Vande Bharat," Srivastava said the additional flights will from GCC countries, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK, Europe, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine.
"It is not just a mission that brought back stranded and distressed citizens from around the world, but Vande Bharat has been a mission of hope and happiness, of letting people know that they will not be left behind even in the most testing times," Puri said.
A return-to-school protocol would be developed in co-operation with the Ministry of Education (MoE), the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NECDMA) and local authorities and would be announced later on.
Though this photograph was taken on June 15, it has gone viral on Father's Day (June 20). Many social users shared this picture on their timeline and have shared some or the other similar experience with their parents.
The family in return to managed a compensation of Rs400,000 and a Central government job as announced by the Railways at the time of the accident. The mystery was unravelled when the CBI detained a man, namely Amritavan Chowdhury, in Kolkata.
Ten people, including nine children, were killed in a 15-vehicle crash about 55 kilometres south of Montgomery, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock. Two people died in separate vehicle, Garlock told local news outlets — 29-year-old Cody Fox and 9-month-old Ariana Fox, both of Marion County.