India joined the list of many countries that have been halting flights from the UK after the discovery of a new variant of COVID-19 which British authorities said is spreading faster than others.
The Government of India has suspended all flights from the UK till 31 December.
"This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020. Consequently, flights from India to the UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period," the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Twitter on Monday.
As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from the UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.
Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Argentina, Chile and Colombia have imposed restrictions on most passenger travels from the UK on Sunday.
The new coronavirus variant is "out of control" said British Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Sunday, on the same day that the UK broke its daily coronavirus case record, recording 35,928 new cases.
After the discovery of a new strain of COVID-19, the UK government imposed a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southeastern England, and tightened restrictions for all of England over the festive period to control the spread.