Canada extended its ban on direct flights from India till September due to risks posed by the ongoing pandemic. The ban on direct passenger flights from India has been extended until September 21, when the South Asian country is struggling to contain the spread of the virus within its borders.
“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,” the department said in a statement.
“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 added.
The ban, which had first been imposed on April 22, has been rolled over numerous times, and this is the fifth time it has been extended. While it was initially supposed to expire on August 21, the ban will remain in place until September 21, 2021.
“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, August 10.
“Transport Canada is also extending the requirement related to third-country pre-departure Covid-19 molecular tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a valid Covid-19 pre-departure test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada,” the statement said.
Canada says that it “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.”