Direct passenger flights from India to Canada resumed on Monday as Transport Canada lifted a one-month ban imposed due to high COVID-19 cases.
In a post on Twitter, Transport Canada said direct flights from India can land in Canada, but passengers must have a negative COVID-19 test 18 hours before their departure from an approved laboratory at New Delhi airport.
“Starting at 00:01 EDT on September 27, direct flights from India may land in Canada with additional public health measures,” the department said.
“Passengers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test from an approved genstring laboratory at Delhi airport within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of their direct flight to Canada.”
Air Canada flight data shows that a direct flight from Delhi landed at Toronto’s international airport on Monday morning.
But a family visit raises questions about whether the direct flight ban had the intended effect.
Hari Gopal Garg and his wife Komal Garg traveled from Toronto to India to adopt a baby girl, Kaveri, and were set to return to Canada on April 25, three days after direct flights were banned.
He said the family decided to take a long journey back home while traveling to two other countries, so that Garg could get back to work and start his life again.
Garg and his family began their journey on 8 June, traveling from India to Paris, Mexico, before landing in Canada six days later. His visit included a three-day stay in Mexico and COVID-19 tests at each stop.
“We were very nervous,” he said on Monday.
“You’re contacting so many people on the way. You’re changing flights. You’re staying in hotels. It’s like the government made more ways to spread COVID. Otherwise you’d come straight without so many touch points. can.”
The family spent about $6,000 on the trip, including a hotel stay. The trip would otherwise have cost him about $2,000.
“I don’t think the flight ban has helped,” Garg said.
“It created more problems for people who actually traveled and had a valid reason. It created more problems, cost more money and created more mental stress. So, it served a purpose.” did not do. “
But Garg said he is “happy” that flights between the countries have resumed as there are many older people and families with children who may not be able to make the long and expensive trip to Canada.
“I hope the government will take some rational decisions in future without any hidden political agenda,” Garg said.
“Think about the people who are suffering because of these and then make some wise decisions.”
Transport Canada announced in a news release last week that the ban on all direct commercial and private passenger flights from India to Canada has been extended until Sunday.
The department said that after the end of the ban, airlines will check passengers’ COVID-19 test results and confirm that fully vaccinated passengers have uploaded their information to the ArriveCAN mobile app or website.
Passengers arriving in Canada by indirect route from India must obtain a negative COVID-19 molecular test from a country other than India, within 72 hours of departure, before continuing to travel to Canada.
By Maan Alhamidi and Hina Alam
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times