Hyderabad: The ministry of civil aviation, on 2 January, clarified that flights from India to the UK will resume from 6 January 2021 while flights from the UK to India will start from 8 January 2021.
The ministry said that 30 flights will operate every week, 15 each by Indian and UK carriers. It also clarified that this schedule is valid till 23 January 2021. The further frequency will be determined after a review.
Though this announcement gave some relief to people travelling from the UK to India and vice versa, some students are still stuck in the UK where a lockdown is in place.
The High Commission of India, London, confirmed to the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (UK) that there are currently no emergency travel arrangements to India.
The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (UK) has been helping stranded students who were unable to fly either to India or to the UK. They informed the students that if they intend to leave the UK but are unable to do so and have a visa or leave that expires between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021, they may request additional time to stay known as 'exceptional assurance'.
They also answered students' concerns and queries about their courses commencing or carrying on from January 2021. The students should reach out to the university in the first instance about the teaching arrangements from January and any other related queries, the union said.
For students travelling from India to the UK, a mandatory 10-day self-isolation is in place. All international arrivals are required to complete a passenger locator form upon their arrival in the UK.
The UK universities minister has said that to ensure the best and safest experience, returning or new students planning to travel to the UK from overseas in January are advised to check with their higher education provider in advance to confirm when face-to-face teaching will begin and when they should arrive on campus.
Any students concerned about the impact of not being able to urgently travel to the UK on their prospects for the graduate immigration route should note the graduate route is scheduled to be launched in summer 2021, as previously announced. Students will normally be expected to undertake their studies in the UK to be eligible for the graduate route. However, if the students required to continue their current studies or commence a new course by distance or blended earning due to COVID-19, they will still be eligible to switch into the graduate route on a concessionary basis if they have spent some time studying outside the UK.