In a meeting chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray against the backdrop of a new coronavirus strain being reported in the United Kingdom, it has been decided to impose a night curfew in all municipal corporations in the state from December 22 to January 5. The curfew will be imposed from 11 pm to 6 am.
At the same time, it was decided to conduct institutional quarantine for all passengers from all over Europe and the Middle East for 14 days after landing at the airport, as well as home quarantine for passengers from other countries.
The Municipal Commissioners have been asked to arrange hotels and independent hospitals for quarantining international passengers. The Chief Minister has also directed them to set up a separate hospital for passengers from Europe if they show symptoms of the new strain.
"Due to this new strain of coronavirus, more precautions are being taken in the state and we have to be more vigilant for the next 15 days," said Uddhav Thackeray.
Earlier in the day, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has suspended all flights from the UK and vice versa from Wednesday to December 31 in view of the new strain of the virus.
Taking to Twitter, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday afternoon suspended all flights originating from UK to India till the end of 2020. The suspension will remain in effect till 23.59 hours on 31st December 2020.
"This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020. Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period. As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from 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 MoCA added.
A number of countries like Canada, Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Israel have also banned flights from the UK as the British government warned that the potent new strain of the virus was "out of control".