Covid-19: India extends international flight ban until October 31

Dubai - All scheduled international flights to and from India were banned from March 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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By Web Report

Published: Wed 29 Sep 2021, 3:29 AM

The Indian civil aviation regulator on Tuesday extended the ban on international passenger flights until October 31, 2021. However, the ban is not applicable to cargo flights and those approved by the regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

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All scheduled international flights to and from India were banned from March 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic. The flight ban has been extended towards the end of every month since then by the regulator. However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has signed bilateral air bubble agreements with several countries.

India has formed air bubble pacts with around 25 countries, including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France.

Rules stipulate that those special international flights can be operated by their airlines following an air bubble pact between two countries, irrespective of the travel ban, which initially came into place on March 22, 2020.

Direct connectivity has finally resumed between India and Canada after almost five months from September 27.

The United States will re-open to air passengers who have received Covid-19 vaccines from China, India, and UK, among other countries, from early November.

Earlier, the US eased its travel advisory for India on August 16, 2021, lowering it to level 2, which is considered as safe, following significant improvement in the South Asian country's Covid-19 situation.

The UK had moved India from its "red" to "amber" travel list from August 8 onwards.

The validity of Indian visa or stipulated period of stay for foreign nationals who have been stranded in India due to the pandemic has been extended till October 31.

Travellers from India have been allowed to fly to 49 cities across 18 countries since September under the air bubble arrangements.

India requires travellers from the UK, the EU, Middle East countries, South Africa, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe to provide PCR negative reports and undergo PCR test upon arrival.

Spain is allowing tourists from India if they are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.

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