Covid: Canada extends ban on direct flights from India

Canada extends ban on direct passenger flights from India till September 21 due to Covid

In April, Canada banned all direct flights to and from India when the second Covid wave hit the latter

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

Canada has again extended its ban on arriving passenger flights directly from India till September 21 due to the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the federal transport ministry has said.

In April, Canada banned all direct flights to and from India when the second Covid-19 wave hit India. The date of reopening has been postponed many times.

Read more: Everything you need to know global vaccine passports

"Protecting the health and safety of Canadians continues to be our top priority. After reviewing public health data, we have decided to extend the direct flight ban between Canada and India until September 21, 2021," Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport of Canada, tweeted on Tuesday.

"The Government of Canada has suspended flights from India until September 21, 2021. During that period, passengers who travel to Canada from India via an indirect route will need to obtain a pre-departure negative Covid-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada," Transport Canada said in a statement on Monday.

"Travellers who have previously tested positive for Covid-19 must provide proof of a positive Covid-19 molecular test conducted between 14 and 90 days before departure, instead of a negative Covid-19 molecular test. This proof must be obtained in a third country before the continuation of the journey to Canada. You might need to seek entry and stay in a third country for at least 14 days," it said.

Also, the Canadian government continues to closely monitor the epidemiological situation and will be working closely with the Government of India and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to enable a safe return of direct flights as soon as conditions permit, the release said.

"Based on the latest public health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada is extending the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India until September 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT. All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included," it said.

The ban, however, does not apply to cargo operations, medical transfers, or military flights. They are allowed to go directly between the two countries. All direct commercial and private passenger flights are only suspended.

India saw a single day rise of 38,353 coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,20,36,511, while the active cases have declined to 3,86,351, the lowest in 140 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday. The death toll has climbed to 4,29,179 with 497 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.