Hindustan Times, New Delhi

FILE: A Vistara Airbus A320 passenger aircraft prepares for takeoff at Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas)



After the government on Monday temporarily banned flights from the United Kingdom over the new coronavirus strain, Vistara in a statement said it will enable one-time free-of-charge rescheduling of affected bookings to any date. The booking, the airline said, can be rescheduled to any date until December 31, 2021.

Also Read | India suspends UK flights till December 31 over new variant of Covid-19

“Vistara will comply with the government’s decision to suspend all flights originating from the UK to India. In order to minimize inconvenience to our customers, we will enable one-time free-of-charge rescheduling of affected bookings to any date until 31 December 2021,” a Vistara spokesperson said just hours after the Centre’s announcement of temporarily suspending flights from the United Kingdom from December 22 to December 31.

A host of countries have banned flights from the UK over the new coronavirus strain. The list of countries includes those from Europe, as well as Canada, and now India. Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said passengers arriving in India from the UK, on any international flight, shall be subjected to “mandatory” RT-PCR testing upon arrival. Earlier in the day, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had urged people to not panic, adding that the government was “fully conscious about everything.”

“I would say this to all that imaginary situations, imaginary talks, imaginary panic…Don’t involve yourself in this,” the minister had said in a press conference.

The new coronavirus strain was first detected in September. It has been shown to increase the spread of the disease in the labs but, thus far, there is no evidence to suggest it leads to more deaths.