Canada eyes travel restrictions from India due to massive COVID surge

Passengers from India not allowed in UAE from April 25 Media reports

People walk outside The Dubai Mall in Dubai United Arab Emirates

Ontario's government is "pleading" with Ottawa to ban travel from India.

The UK has included India in its "red list" which imposes a ban on entry to the country for all except British or Irish residents. However, four air carriers had requested the Heathrow Airport to allow eight more flights from India as travellers wanted to reach the United Kingdom before the new rules came into effect.

Heathrow Airport told the BBC that it refused airlines' request for extra flights because it was anxious about long lines at passport control.

The GCAA said, "The decision to suspend flights came after studying and evaluating the epidemiological situation in the friendly Republic of India and within the framework of continuous coordination and cooperation with all relevant authorities inside and outside the country that continuously monitor developments in the situation to maintain the security and safety of civil aviation".

In the last 24 hours, 2,59,170 new COVID-19 cases and 1,761 deaths were reported in India, the World Health Organization said.

On the West Coast, three recent flights from India were added to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's list of flights with possible COVID-19 exposures.

In late December, the government barred flights arriving from the U.K.in a bid to prevent a contagious variant of COVID-19 that first emerged there from entering this country.

Cargo flights between the two countries will continue after the ban, which comes into effect on April 25 for a period of 10 days "that can be extended".

The Trudeau government is considering new travel restrictions but has long resisted targetting specific countries.

Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 146 districts reported Covid-19 positivity rate of more than 15 per cent, while 274 districts reported case positivity between 5 and 15 per cent. For the past few days, the country has been reporting in excess of two lakh cases.

From 11.59 pm on Thursday, all travellers from India will also have to serve an additional seven-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at their place of residence, following the usual 14-day SHN at a dedicated facility, a statement by the Singapore's Ministry of Health was quoted as saying in a report of The Straits Times.