The Centre on Wednesday asked states to impose restrictions on New Year celebrations to prevent such events from turning into “super spreaders” of Covid-19, as infections from the new UK strain of coronavirus rose to 20.
“Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to & from the UK till 7 January 2021,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
He said that after January 7 flights would resume in the “strictly regulated” manner and details about it would be announced “shortly”.
The government also extended the ban on flights to and from Britain till January 7 and on other international operations till January 31. However, bilateral arrangements through ‘air bubbles’ and cargo flights would continue to operate as sanctioned by the civil aviation regulator DGCA.
India had imposed a ban on flights to and from Britain from December 23 to 31, after it reported a new strain of the virus that was highly contagious and unveiled a new protocol to screen passengers from that country.
As of Wednesday, the health ministry had found 20 persons who had returned from Britain to be infected with the new strain of coronavirus.