New Covid strain: Indian students, families stranded in UK after travel ban

Vastavam web: Many Indian students who planned to travel back home to be with their friends and family in India over the Christmas and New Year period are among those caught up in Monday’s suspension of all flights to and from the UK as the world reacts to a new rapid-spreading strain of coronavirus detected in parts of England. While many students would have made travel plans earlier in December after UK universities set up tests to leave the campus processes in place, there are some who are booked on flights in what is one of the busiest travel periods within the UK-India sector.

“Significant concern is being observed from Indian students both inbound and outbound,” said Sanam Arora, Chair of the National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU-UK), a representative group for Indian students in the UK. “Many students had planned to travel either back to India to be with their families over the holiday period or from India to the UK in order to start settling into the country ahead of the commencement of the January session. As we speak, there are many questions being raised around being stuck and confusion for instance around whether the PCR test detects the new strain of the virus,” she said.

“This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020. Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period,” it said, in a statement in response to a barrage of queries by travellers if inbound flights from India to the UK may be allowed to land.