This is the fifth time that Air India flights have been barred by the Hong Kong airport.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority on November 10 barred Air India flights for 14 days after some passengers were tested COVID-19 positive at the airport. This is the fifth time that Air India flights have been barred by the Hong Kong Airport Authority for bringing passengers who tested positive for the viral infection after arrival. The latest ban is imposed till December 3, 2020.
Prior to this, the Hong Kong Airport Authority had barred AI's Delhi-Hong Kong flights from August 18 to August 31, September 20 to October 3 and October 17 to October 30. Also, AI's Mumbai-Hong Kong flights during October 28-November 10 were also barred.
As per the notification released by the Hong Kong government in July, all the passengers from India can arrive in Hong Kong only if they have a COVID-19 negative certificate from a test done within 72 hours prior to the journey.
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Apart from India, a pre-flight COVID-19 negative certificate is mandatory for all passengers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US. However, all international passengers are required to undergo a post-flight COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong airport.
Among other details, the Hong Kong administration had made mandatory for an airline operating a flight to Hong Kong from these countries to submit a form before departure, stating that all passengers onboard have COVID-19 negative certificates.
Though Indian airlines have been permitted to operate special international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May, scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the pandemic.(With inputs from agencies)