Once again, Hong Kong has placed a ban on Air India flights after a few passengers were found positive upon arrival. This is the fifth time that a ban
Once again, Hong Kong has placed a ban on Air India flights after a few passengers were found positive upon arrival. This is the fifth time that a ban has been implemented on Air India flights by the government of Hong Kong due to a surge in cases of the deadly Novel Coronavirus in India. The previous bans were in August, September, October, and early November.
According to the rules issued by the government of Hong Kong in July, travelers from India can only enter Hong Kong provided they furnish a Covid certificate stating that they are negative. The test should have been 72 hours before the date of landing. Not only that, all international travelers have to undergo a Covid test as soon as they land.
This time, the ban has been from the 20th of November to the 3rd of December. Not only the flights from NewDelhi to Hong Kong were banned, but even the flights from Mumbai to the country also came under the radar and were subsequently banned. When asked, the spokesperson of Air India said that no flights have been scheduled from India to Hong Kong during this period.
The Government of Hong Kong has made pre-flight Covid tests for the countries – Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the UK, the US, and India. The airlines operating from these countries are required to submit a formal form or a statement, staging that all the passengers are Covid negative, before departure.
Although international flights from India have been suspended with the onset of the pandemic, India in recent months has created travel bubbles with almost twenty countries apart from Hong Kong where airlines from both the countries are allowed to operate international flights under certain conditions and restrictions as precautionary measures. Many countries are still working on such bilateral bubble pacts as a measure to revive their devastated economies. As more awareness is being generated worldwide related to Covid 19, many countries have started to resume international travel to uplift their dwindling economies which have been harshly affected by the onset of the pandemic.
Under the bubble pact, Indian airlines have been operating international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020. Air India has faced similar bans in many other countries as the graph in India when it comes to Covid is not coming down.
The first ban was placed when 16 passengers turned out to be positive. Although the subsequent numbers have been low but still have been high enough to trigger a ban. Till now, India has exported 87 cases to Hong Kong.