Coronavirus Scare: India Suspends All Travel Visas Till April 15

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The government of India has suspended all existing visas to India till April 15th, 2020 amid mounting concern over the novel coronavirus (COVID-9) outbreak. The decision was taken on March 11th, 2020 at a meeting of the group of ministers (GoM) held in Delhi under the chairpersonship of Union health minister Harsh Vardhan.

“All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13th, 2020 at the port of departure,” said an official release.

The release added, “Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th, 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13th, 2020 at the port of departure.”

Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission, the government said.

The release further mentioned that all incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15th, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.

Incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days on their arrival in India.

“Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days,” the release said.

International traffic through land borders will be restricted to Designated check posts with robust screening facilities. These will be notified separately by M/o Home Affairs.

Provision for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in Italy to be made and collected for samples to be organized accordingly.  Those tested negative will be allowed to travel and will be quarantined on arrival in India for 14 days.

Photo credit: nytimes.com

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