The Canadian government has extended the ban on direct flights from India by another 30 days. The ban was set to expire on August 21, but will now remain in place until September 21.
It is the fifth time the ban has been extended since it was first imposed on April 22 due to fears in Canada over the devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and concerns over transmission of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
This extension has come at a time when several jurisdictions have been relaxing restrictions for Indian travellers. The decision is expected to further aggravate the plight of those applying for student visas for higher education in Canada.
Canada has opened its borders “to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements” from other countries.
Fully vaccinated American citizens and Permanent Residents have been allowed to enter the country for non-essential travel on August 9, as long as they have completed their inoculations at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.
The vaccines authorised for emergency use in Canada are those made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca (Covishield), and Johnson & Johnson.
Fully vaccinated travellers also do not require a post-arrival test from August 9, while those not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated or vaccinated with jabs not recognised by Canadian health authorities, will continue to be tested.
But last month it was announced that requirement related to third-country pre-departure Covid-19 tests has also been extended for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. Passengers from India connecting at another point of departure for Canada requires a mandatory pre-departure negative RT-PCR test before continuing their journey to the Canadian destination.
India’s high commission in Ottawa sent a letter to Global Affairs Canada to scrap the bar on direct flights last month.