West Bengal suspends all direct flights from UK to Kolkata from January 3 amid Omicron scare


New Delhi: The West Bengal government on Thursday (December 30) decided to suspend all direct flights temporarily from the United Kingdom to Kolkata with effect from January 3 amid Omicron scare. 

The step has been taken amid an alarming rise in Omicron cases globally. From January 3, 2022, all passengers coming from non at-risk countries to West Bengal will have to mandatorily undergo COVID-19 testing on arrival at their cost. Passengers will be required to pre-book the test before boarding, the government order said. 

Earlier today,  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that COVID-19 cases in Kolkata were rising as it was a transit point for people travelling on trains and flights.

“Most omicron cases are being detected among people coming on flights from the UK. It’s a fact that the omicron carriers are coming via international flights. The Centre must decide on imposing restrictions on flights from countries where omicron cases are high,” PTI had quoted her as saying. 

West Bengal on Wednesday had recorded 1,089 new infections out of which Kolkata reported 540 new cases, a sharp rise. 

“COVID-19 cases in Kolkata are rising because it’s the transit point for people travelling on trains and flights. I will request everyone to follow COVID guidelines and wear masks,” the West Bengal CM urged. 

(With agency inputs) 

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