Indian government announces extraordinary steps to contain spread of coronavirus, suspends all visas including OCI till 15 April

The Indian government has announced extraordinary measures to contain coronavirus or Covid-19 disease. Key decisions taken by the Indian government’s ministry of health included suspension of all existing visas except ‘diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, till 15th April 2020.’ The move will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13 March 2020 at the port of departure.


The notification issued by the health ministry said, “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 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.”

Any foreign national wishing to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission.

All incoming travelers, including Indians, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain & Germany after 15 February 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days, said a circular by the Indian health ministry.

The ministry said that all incoming travellers including Indian nationals were 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.

It said that Indian nationals were strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days adding that international traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities.

The steps announced by India came on a day when the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. In UK, the new Chancellor announced $39 billion package to fight coronavirus in his annual budget announced on Wednesday.





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