West Bengal govt suspends all flights coming from UK to Kolkata
Kolkata, Dec 30: The West Bengal government has temporarily and until further orders decided to suspend all direct flights from the United Kingdom to Kolkata with effect from January 3.
"Flights, which is an at-risk country as notified by MOHFW. Government of India, will not be allowed in the State and any NOCs which have been issued stand withdrawn," a statement from the government said.
The travellers coming from other non-at-risk countries by international flights to West Bengal will have to mandatorily undergo a test on arrival at their cost.
"The airlines will randomly select 10% of the passengers for RT-PCR test and the balance 90% shall undergo Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at the arrival airport. Those found positive in the RAT test will have to further undergo RT-PCR tests as may be required by the health authorities," the statement added.
All passengers have to mandatorily pre-book the test before boarding to reduce waiting time on arrival, which the airlines must ensure prior to allowing the boarding, the government said. "Accordingly, the airport authorities may be asked to augment the holding capacity of the arrival lounge on the international side and also increase the number of testing counters so as to reduce the waiting time for the passengers at the airport."
It further added that the airlines may be requested to evenly space out the flight arrivals in NSCB1, Kolkata in consultation with the Airport Director and the state nodal officer so as to reduce waiting time.
The decision was taken after West Bengal became one of the states of concern on the basis of weekly Covid-19 cases and positivity.