New Delhi: The Union government on Monday decided to extend the ban on commercial international flights to and from India till September 30 in view of the escalating numbers of coronavirus cases. However, special repatriation flights under Vande Bharat Mission will continue “on case to case basis”, along with other flights exempted by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).Also Read - Plan Your Foreign Trip as Fiji to Reopen Its Borders to Some Countries in November

“Scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 30th September, 2020. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA,” the advisory read. Also Read - As Canada Lifts Advisory Against Non-Essential Foreign Travel, What Does it Mean For Indians?

The Union Home Ministry had on Saturday issued guidelines for Unlock 4, the fourth phase of relaxations on COVID-19 lockdown, that will come into effect from September 1. Also Read - Travel Alert! Israel to Welcome Fully Vaccinated Foreign Tourists From THIS DATE

The Centre has lifted the restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods, and no separate permission/ e-permit will be required for such movements from September. Metro rail services have also been allowed to resume.

Earlier this month, the civil aviation watchdog said that the full-fledged resumption of international flight operations will depend on the pandemic situation all over the world and that it can take some time given how tense the COVID situation currently is across the world.

“Some international air operations have started already. Passengers are allowed to go from and come to India. It depends on the bubble arrangement we have with countries like the UK, US, France,” DGCA chief Arun Kumar had said.

International flights have been suspended since March when the government announced a nationwide lockdown. Owing to the closure of the airspace for three months, the airlines have been hit badly across the world.

However, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements with other countries since July.