The Government of Indian in an emergency measure has banned the flights from the United Kingdom to the country due to fear of new variants of Covid-19. These new variants of Covid-19 are considered to be highly infectious variants of Covid-19. As a temporary measure, the suspension of flights from UK has come into effect from 22 December midnight and will continue till 31 December. The Ministry of Civil Aviation as a pre-emptive measure has tweeted, “Considering the prevailing situation in the UK, Indian Government has decided that all flights originating from the UK to India shall be temporarily suspended till 11:59 pm, 31st December. This suspension to start with effect from 11.59 pm, 22nd December”. Further, the government has also decided, as a measure of abundant precaution, that all the passengers arriving from United Kingdom will be subjected to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival from the United Kingdom. The Government is aware of the fact that entry of the deadly variant in India could pose serious critical risk to the people at large. The Government has made it mandatory for the overseas passengers to subject themselves to fourteen days mandatory quarantine. The United Kingdom flight ban is not the only concern of the Indian Government. The Government all over the world has banned flight from United Kingdom as the UK Government has admitted that the new variants of Covid-19 have gone out of control. The Indian Government measures is timely and proactive. The other countries which have banned United Kingdom flights are France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria. The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that a fast-moving new variant of the virus that is 70 per cent more transmissible than existing strains is spreading infections in London. But he stressed that “there’s no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness,” or that vaccines will be less effective against it. However, sudden flight ban from the United Kingdom has created serious problems for those students and professionals who eagerly wanted to visit India on the eve of Christmas and New Year. Further, it will also adversely affect the revenue of civil aviation companies which have already suffered serious financial crisis due to lockdown imposed in the country. The domestic civil aviation companies suffered a massive financial crunch during the lockdown imposed in the country and their earnings declined drastically. The same situation the civil aviation companies have to face now due to temporary ban of flights from United Kingdom as there is considerable amount of traffic flow from United Kingdom to India. Most of the commuters are student communities and professionals. Then a majority of the students who were about to join undergraduate and post graduate courses in various universities of United Kingdom has to face inconvenience due to sudden flight ban. However, considering the dangerousness of Covid-19 in the Britain, the Government has taken a right decision to suspend flight temporarily from the United Kingdom. As per the latest report, around forty nations from all over the world has imposed flight ban from United Kingdom. In the coming time, more nations may impose flight ban from the United Kingdom. The health experts have already announced that Covid-19 will reach peak in the winter. Hence, the government has to be cautious about it to prevent the spread of pandemic in the country. As far as death toll in India is concerned, the figure has already crossed more than four thousand in the State of Gujarat. The death toll in Maharashtra is about to cross fifty thousand. As per the latest figure, the total death toll in the country is at one lakh forty sixty thousand casualties. Hence, it is a matter of serious concern as well as challenges for both the Union Government and State Governments to contain and arrest the spread of Covid-19. The government is taking all the possible steps to arrest the spread of the virus in the country.
Dr. Amit Bhaskar, Associate Professor, Unitedworld School of Law
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