The Union Health Ministry on Friday has put countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, and South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel under the 'at-risk' category.
The Aviation Ministry said if a country has been identified to be "at-risk" of COVID-19 and has an air bubble agreement with India, then "75 per cent of pre-COVID scheduled international flight operations of Indian or foreign carrier whichever is higher or a minimum of seven frequencies per week subject to availability of entitlements under bilateral agreements will be permitted".
For a country that has been identified to be "at-risk" of COVID-19 and does not have an air-bubble agreement with India, then only "50 per cent of bilateral capacity entitlements or 50 per cent of pre-COVID operations of Indian or foreign carrier, whichever is higher", will be permitted.
Under an air bubble agreement between the two nations, airlines of both countries can operate special flights between their territories with certain restrictions.
The Aviation Ministry said on Friday: "The seats under air bubble arrangement which have already been sold by airlines, which are more than the capacity entitlements under bilateral air service agreements available with the airlines, will be allowed to be operated till December 14, 2021." "Such airlines will restrict their operations to capacity entitlements enter bilateral air service agreements available with airlines with effect from December 15, 2021," it added.
For the unversed, India has air bubble agreement with several of these countries like those in European Union, United Kingdom and Mauritius. Meanwhile, it remains to seen if India also suspends entry of travellers from countries in southern Africa after a new COVID-19 variant has emerged over there.
(With PTI inputs)
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