Rail and air travel are unlikely to resume after May 3 as social distancing remains a concern in the fight against the highly infectious novel coronavirus or COVID-19, which has infected more than 15,000 people in India, killed more than 500, sources have told NDTV. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week extended the nationwide lockdown, which began on March 25 to check the spread of COVID-19, to May 3.
All the airlines have been told not to take bookings after May 3, sources said.
On Saturday, a Group of Ministers (GoM) who attended a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence expressed concern over resuming trains and flights, sources have said, adding that a final call would be taken after Union Health Ministry gives its inputs.
The government on Saturday said that no decision has been taken to allow domestic or international flights, hours after Air India on its website said that it is taking bookings for travel from May 4 on some domestic routes and from June 1 for international routes.
“The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations. Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted.