OTTAWA – Direct passenger flights from India to Canada resumed Monday, as Transport Canada lifted a ban imposed in April due to the country’s high number of COVID-19 cases.
In a Twitter post, Transport Canada said on Monday that direct flights from India can now land in Canada. Travelers must, however, present a negative result of a COVID-19 molecular screening test from the approved laboratory “Genestrings” at Delhi airport, carried out within 18 hours before the departure of the direct flight to Canada, the ministry said.
Air Canada flight data shows that a direct flight from New Delhi landed at Toronto International Airport on Monday morning.
The Federal Ministry announced last week an extension of the ban on all direct commercial and private flights from India until September 26. Transport Canada said that after the ban ends, airlines will check travelers’ COVID-19 test results and confirm fully vaccinated passengers have uploaded their information to the ArriveCAN mobile app or website.
Travelers arriving in Canada from India via an indirect route must obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a negative COVID-19 molecular test from a third country, other than India, before continuing their journey. travel to Canada.
The wealthiest were able to bypass
This ban on direct flights from India was intended to limit the risk of introducing the virus into Canada. But the journey of a family raises questions about the real effectiveness of this ban.
Hari Gopal Garg and his wife Komal had left Toronto to adopt a baby girl in India and were due to return to Canada on April 25, three days after the ban on direct flights. The family then decided to make a long trip home, crossing two other countries, so that Mr. Garg could return to work and his life, he said on Monday.
The Gargs therefore began their journey on June 8, passing from India to Paris and then to Mexico, before landing in Canada six days later. Their return journey included a three-day stopover in Mexico and COVID-19 testing at each stop.
“We contacted a lot of people, we changed flights, we stayed in hotels: it’s as if the Canadian government had created more ways to spread COVID,” says Garg. We would have had much less contact with a direct flight. ”
The family will have spent approximately $ 6,000 on this trip, including hotel stays; a direct flight would otherwise have cost them around $ 2,000. Mr. Garg was still happy that flights between countries have resumed as there are a number of seniors and families with children who may not have been able to make the long and expensive journey to Canada. .
This article has been produced with financial support from the Facebook and The Canadian Press News Scholarships.
Maan Alhmidi and Hina Alam, The Canadian Press