Indian air carrier Air India has asked its pilots and cabin crew to stay in their hotel rooms during layovers at both domestic and international destinations for fear of the new and more advanced COVID-19 mutant which has spread in the UK.
Captain RS Sandhu, AI director (operations) said in a mail that he wrote to the crew on Monday that the news of the new mutated strain being upto 70% more contagious is rather disturbing and that the Air India staff should take care of themselves as well as the passengers.
A spokesperson from Air India confirmed the communique.
He stated in the mail, "As Britain battles a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus there is disturbing news of the new mutated strain being upto 70% more contagious. Southeast England and the city of London have been put under a strict 'stay-at-home' order as the virus spread has been termed to be 'out of control' and the situation declared to be 'alarming',"
"Keeping in view the gravity of the situation, crew laying over at all domestic/international stations are hereby directed to remain isolated in their allocated rooms for the complete duration of the stay. This directive is for the strictest compliance and any contravention of the same may irresponsibly expose you or others to this global scourge," he added.
India has shut operation of flights to the UK on Monday. Air India said in a tweet, "in view of the @MoCA_GoI directive of suspension of all flights to/from the UK from 2359 hrs of 22nd December to 2359 hrs of 31st December, 2020, no Air India flight will operate to the UK during this period."
#FlyAI: In view of the @MoCA_GoI directive of suspension of all flights to/from UK from 2359 hrs of 22nd December to 2359 hrs of 31st December, 2020, no Air India flight will operate to the UK during this period.— Air India (@airindiain) December 21, 2020
Please stay tuned for further updates.