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IranAir to resume UK flights from May 6

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s flag carrier will end nearly four months of ban on UK flights from early May.

Iran’s flag carrier IranAir will resume its flights to the United Kingdom on May 6 after a months-long ban imposed to curb the spread of the so-called British variant of the coronavirus into Iran.

An IranAir spokesman said on Sunday that regular flights to the UK will take place on Sundays and Thursdays as of early next month.

Hossein Jahani said the decision to restore the route which had been closed in late December came following an easing of the coronavirus-related restrictions in Britain where the number of infections has declined in recent weeks.

However, Iran’s transportation minister said that travel bans imposed by the government for disease control purposes currently cover destinations in 39 countries, including the UK.  

Mohammad Eslami said the ban on flights to and from Britain would be valid at least until early May.

He said strict testing mechanisms would be in place at borders and in airports to screen the arrivals.

The resumption of IranAir flights to the UK comes despite a new rise in coronavirus cases in Iran, the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the Middle East region.

A daily update on the number of infections and deaths announced by the Iranian health ministry showed that 258 people had died of the coronavirus since Saturday.

The figure, a record since early December, brings the total number of deaths from the disease in Iran to 64,490 while number of identified cases has risen to above 2.07 million.

The Iranian government has ordered partial lockdowns in 23 out of 31 provinces that are on coronavirus red alert. That includes the capital Tehran where shops, schools, theaters and sports facilities have been ordered to close for two weeks beginning on Saturday.

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