Shillong: The Meghalaya Government has prohibited the entry of tourists from Britain in the state as concerns and apprehensions are on the rise following the emergence of a new variant of covid-19 in the United Kingdom.
The order has been issued by the Home (Political) Department of the Meghalaya Government and it has come into immediate effects and will be in place until further orders.
The Chief Secretary MS Rao had said, "Following the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, all tourists from the United Kingdom are prohibited from visiting the State of Meghalaya with immediate effect and until further orders."
Meanwhile, the Health and Family Welfare Department in Meghalaya has asked all UK returnees or entrants in the past four weeks i.e. from November 25 to December 23, to reveal their travel history of the past 14 days to the Surveillance Units in their respective districts and undergo RT-PCR test.
People testing positive "shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit."
The new variant of coronavirus was found to be growing rapidly in some parts of England. As many as 60 different local authorities had recorded the infection of the new variant.
The government of India had decided to ban flights coming from the UK to break the chain of spreading the mutated variant. All flights originating from the UK to India are suspended from December 22 to December 31.
Consequently, flights from India to the UK are also suspended during this period.
India and UK were connected by various airlines including Air India, Vistara, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic connecting London to Indian airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Amritsar.
While regular scheduled international flights are still not allowed by authorities, however, India and UK have entered an air bubble arrangement.