India will allow scheduled international flights into the country, despite the nation recording more than 1 million coronavirus cases and restricting people in multiple states from leaving their homes in local lockdowns.
During a news conference on Thursday, Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed the establishment of "air bubbles" between India and the US, France and Germany, reports the CNN.
Until international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-Covid situation in terms of numbers, the answer lies through these bilateral air bubbles, which will carry as many people as possible but under defined conditions," said Puri.
"Because many countries are still imposing entry restrictions, as are we, it's not that anyone can travel from anywhere to anywhere. You need permission."
On Friday India registered a record 34,956 new infections in just 24 hours. On the same day, more than 400 million people in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Karantaka's capital city Bengaluru re-entered lockdown conditions after a spike in cases.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23, with the exception of repatriation flights.
As of July 15, nearly 690,000 Indian nationals have flown home on these flights, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.