Canada will extend its ban on arriving passenger flights from India to September 21 because of the risks posed by Covid-19, the federal transport ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The ban was first imposed on April 22 and has already been rolled over several times. The measure does not apply to cargo flights or medical transfers.
Canada is welcoming passengers from the United States, which is reporting 100,000 daily new Covid cases. As it extends the ban on direct flights from India, the only way for Indians to reach Canada is to travel to a third country where Indian flights are allowed and get tested there as Canada will also not accept Covid-19 molecular test reports from India.
This is the 5th extension of the ban on direct Indian flights since April. The ban was imposed in April because of the second wave of the pandemic and was later extended. With the consecutive extension of the ban on direct flights, the only way for Indian students who have got admission to Canada schools and varsities is to take a connecting flight to Canada where they will have to obtain a negative RT-PCR certificate from a third country, not India. That third country has to be on the approved list of Canada.
Extending the ban on direct flights from India, Transport Canada said the decision was based “on the latest public health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada”.
Apart from fully vaccinated US citizens, Canada has allowed some relaxation to some other categories as well. Permanent residents of Canada, newly approved immigrants can now travel to Canada. Among these categories, those who are fully vaccinated travellers will not need to quarantine.
How Indian students can travel to Canada?
The Indian government has asked the Canadian government to lift the ban of direct flights in July, as there is a huge demand for both-way traffic. India’s high commissioner to Ottawa Ajay Bisaria held meetings with the officials from Air India and Air Canada. The diplomatic push resulted in a leeway for Indian students which is inconvenient but a passage to enter Canada. They have to travel to a third country and get tested there as Canada is not accepting Covid-19 molecular test reports from India. They will also have to stay in that third country for 14 days.