New Delhi: After a few passengers were tested positive for Corona Virus post-arrival, the Hong Kong government has banned Air India flights bound from Mumbai till November 10, as per a senior official. This is the fourth time that Air India flights from India have been banned by the Hong Kong government for bringing passengers who tested positive for the infection after arrival. ALSO READ | Union Minister Smriti Irani Tests Covid-19 Positive Days After Campaigning For Bihar Assembly Polls
In an earlier move, Air India’s flight bound from Delhi-Hong Kong flights from 20 September-3 October and 18-31 August and 17-30 October were banned.
As per Covid-19 prevention norms, passengers from India can arrive in Hong Kong only if they have a COVID-19 negative certificate from a test done within 72 hours prior to the journey, according to rules issued by the Hong Kong government in July.
All l international passengers are required to undergo a post-flight COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong airport.
Besides India, a pre-flight COVID-19 negative certificate is mandatory for all passengers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the UK, and the US, according to the Hong Kong government’s rules.
As per the Covid-19 norms airlines operating a flight to Hong Kong from these countries have to submit a form before departure, stating that all passengers onboard have COVID-19 negative certificates.
“A few passengers who traveled on Air India’s Mumbai-Hong Kong flight earlier this week tested positive for COVID-19 post-arrival at Hong Kong,” the senior government official said.
“Subsequently, the Mumbai-Hong Kong flights have been barred from 28 October to 10 November by the Hong Kong government,” the official added.
Commercial international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since 23 March due to the pandemic. Until recently the Indian government decided to give Visas to foreigners except for tourists.
Post-Lockdown, the Indian Government launched its scheme to repatriate Indians struck in different countries under the name of “Vande Bharat Mission”. Since May this year and under the bilateral air bubble pacts since July this year.
Under a bilateral air bubble pact, the airlines of both countries can operate international flights with certain restrictions. India has formed such pacts with approximately 18 countries.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, 7,659 repatriation flights were operated by the Air India Group under the Vande Bharat Mission till October 27, carrying over 9,92,690 passengers. Of these, 3,828 were inbound flights carrying 6,23,739 passengers and 3,831 were outbound flights with 3,68,951 fliers.