COVID-19: India suspends most existing visas till Apr 15

India has suspended all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas till April 15.

This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure, said the Press Information Bureau of India on Wednesday.

The decision was taken at the sixth meeting of the high level group of ministers held at Nirman Bhawan under the chairpersonship of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare.

Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Nityananda Rai, Minister of State for Home, Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/c), Ministry of Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilisers and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare were present.

The recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries chaired by Cabinet Secretary were placed before GoM.

After detailed deliberations on preventive measures, actions taken and preparedness for Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Group of Ministers took the following decisions:

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 who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission.

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

This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.

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.

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 collection 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.

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said they are looking into ways how India can provide technical assistance to Bangladesh to deal with the situation due to coronavirus.

While interacting with a visiting 20-member media delegation from Bangladesh at Hyderabad House on Wednesday, he said India will be happy to assist Bangladesh in this regard.

source: UNB