Today Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the immediate halt to all inbound passenger flights to Australia from India, which will be in place until at least May 15th 2021. It will be reviewed prior to that time, to look at a possible extension of those arrangements.
Prior to the current outbreak, there were 8 planned flights from India, to help repatriate Australians returning to Australia, this May.
As such, this will affect those two passenger services from India into Sydney, and two repatriation flights from India to Darwin. This will impact around 500 arrivals.
Passengers on all future flights, when and if these flights are resumed going forward, will be required to have both negative PCR test and a negative rapid antigen test prior to uplift.
In regards to indirect flights – It has already been announced that indirect flights through Dohar, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, we are aware that flights to and from these transit points, and India, have been closed by their respective governments.
This is all in addition to existing restrictions in place, including pausing outbound flights from Australia to India, which was classed as a high risk destination, last week.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis in India, the PM has announced that Australia is providing an initial package of support, which will be rolled out ASAP. This includes:
- 509 invasive ventilators
- 1 million surgical masks
- 500k P2 M95 masks
- 100k surgical gowns
- 100k goggles
- 100k pairs of gloves
- 20k face shields
We will also help to commence procurement of 100 oxygen concentrators along with tanks and consumables.
DEFAT will manage the movement of this equipment over the next week.
When circumstances allow, the flights from India to repatriate Australians will return, and perhaps with a higher frequency if possible, to get those Australians home as soon as possible.