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The Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday said the scheduled international flights to and from India will be resumed from 15 December. However, the Central Government has barred 14 countries in light of the new Covid-19 strain as well as rising infection rates in these nations.

The nations, which do not feature on the list, include the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Singapore.

The decision has been reportedly taken in consultation with the Union Health Ministry in light of the Covid-19 scenario across the world, especially the emergence of new variants.

Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 last year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July last year under air bubble arrangements formed with approximately 28 countries.

In an order, the Civil Aviation Ministry said: "The matter of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and it has been decided that scheduled commercial international passenger services to and from India may be resumed from December 15, 2021."

Recently, Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal has said that the international flight operations are expected to return to normal soon. “We expect normalcy to return in international flight operations very soon," he said.

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