Air Canada A320 C-FKCO

The federal government will lift the ban on direct flights from India early next week as it implements enhanced COVID-19 screening protocols from travellers from there.

A statement released by Transport Canada on Tuesday says the current restrictions, which were set to expire the same day, will be extended until Sunday, September 26 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Once the restriction on direct flights expires, elligible travellers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test from the approved Genestrings Laboratory at the Delhi airport taken within 18 hours of the scheduled departure of their direct flight to Canada.

Prior to boarding, air operators will be checking the travellers’ test results ensuring they are eligible to come to Canada, and that fully vaccinated travellers have uploaded their information into the ArriveCAN mobile app or website. Travellers who are unable to meet these requirements will be denied boarding.

As a first step, the agency said, three direct flights from India will arrive in Canada on Wednesday, September 22 and all passengers on these flights will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to ensure that the new measures are working.

After the resumption of direct flights, travellers from India who are eligible to enter the country and fly here via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country (other than India) before continuing their journey to Canada.

The ban on flights from India was first put in place on April 22 due to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the country.

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