New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday dismissed media reports claiming that the central government has "informally" asked airlines not to fly Chinese nationals into the country and said it has not issued such instructions.

"It is wrong to make suggestions as to citizen of which country should come. There is no such information from our side," Puri was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Earlier in the day, several media reports had claimed that the Centre has "informally" told the airlines to stop flying Chinese nationals into India amid concerns over the spread of a new strain of COVID-19.

The reports also claimed that several airlines have asked the Centre to give it in writing so that they can "give a reason for not letting Chinese nationals to board the flights".

All flights to and from China were banned in March this after the Centre imposed a nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown. However, Chinese nationals are eligible to travel into India according to the current norms for foreigners.

The Chinese nationals have been flying to India by travelling to another country with which New Delhi has established an air bubble. Media reports suggest that Chinese nationals are generally coming to India from European air bubble countries.

Notably, China has suspended the entry of Indians after 20 passengers of a Delhi-Wuhan Air India flight tested coronavirus positive.

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s hereby announced that China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals in India holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits. The Chinese Embassy/ Consulates in India will not stamp the Health Declaration Forms for the holders of the above-mentioned categories of visa or residence permits," the Chinese embassy in India had said in a statement earlier.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma