The federal government said on Tuesday that Canada will begin allowing direct flights from India early next week, while requiring additional COVID-19 measures for those passengers.
Transport Canada said The ban on all private and commercial passenger flights from the country, which was due to end on Tuesday, will be extended till 11:59 pm on September 26.
After that, passengers eligible to enter Canada must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 18 hours of departure from India. Passengers will also have to upload their vaccination details on the Arivacan app before boarding.
The agency said in a statement that it will test the new system on Wednesday by allowing three flights from India to arrive in Canada “to make sure the new measures are working.”
Anyone arriving in Canada from India by the indirect route will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test from a country other than India within 72 hours of departure before leaving for Canada.
The ban on flights from India was first imposed on April 22 due to the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant in the country.
While the more transmissible and deadly form has become the dominant form of the virus in Canada and many other countries, COVID-19 cases in India have plateaued amid increased vaccination.
On Monday, India reported 26,115 new cases and 252 new deaths, continuing a week-long decline from the devastating wave seen in the spring.
About 64 per cent of India’s adult population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 22 per cent have been fully vaccinated with two doses.
The Indian flight ban will be lifted about three weeks after fully vaccinated passengers are allowed to enter Canada from all other countries around the world.
However, the United States continues to restrict travel to and from Canada, citing the rise of the Delta version in both countries.
-With files from Aaron D’Andrea of Granthshala and Reuters
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