Just as the entire world was looking forward to the end of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic, with the arrival of the potent vaccines which were announced by a number of companies! However, the Virus proved that it was one step ahead with a mutated, new strain of the Corona Virus, spreading rapidly, all across the UK. To protect their own countries from being infected with this new strain, well over a 40 nations, including the neighbours of the UK, closed their borders to any and all sort of traffic from there. Almost all air traffic except for cargo transport, was suspended by the countries. The Indian government also temporarily suspended air travel to and from the UK, till December 31st! 

However, this ban came into effect only from December 23rd and it is now common knowledge that the Virus had already arrived on Indian shores, through passengers who came to India from the UK, before the ban was enforced. The government then ordered tracking down all passengers who arrived in India from November 25th, till December 23rd and also undertake contact tracing of all those who closely interacted with them and subject them all to COVID tests. Among the estimated 33,000 passengers who travelled during this period, about 115 passengers were found to be positive for COVID with close to 20 of them being found to be infected with the new strain of the mutated corona virus. 

Now, taking all this into consideration and to prevent any further spread of the Virus, the Indian government has decided to extend the temporary travel ban, till January 7th, 2021! The Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, announced earlier today that the Centre has extended the temporary India-UK flight ban, till January 7th, 2021! Taking to Twitter, Minister Puri wrote, "Decision has been taken to extend the temporary suspension of flights to & from the UK till 7 January 2021. Thereafter strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly." The overall COVID toll in India has crossed 1 Crore cases with the current active cases being well over 2.5 lakhs!