In a sweeping attempt to prevent the spread of Coronavirus as cases across India continued to rise, the ministry of health has decided to suspend all tourist visas till April 15. The concerned ministry held a meeting that was attended by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hardeep Puri, Civil Aviation Minister and the other health ministers of different states on March 11, following which they issued this order. The order will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13.
The government issued a statement stating “All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15, 2020 shall be quarantined for minimum 14 days. This will take effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.”
“All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, U.N./international organisations, employment, project visas and stand suspended till April 15″ the health ministry said in a tweet.
According to the advisory, if anyone with a “compelling reason” wants to travel to the country could contact their nearest Indian mission. However, it was not clear if the ban would include short-term business visas also. Also, the ministry has requested the Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.
All incoming international passengers returning to India should self- monitor their health and follow required Do’s and Don’ts as detailed by the Government. pic.twitter.com/4CYh3MgrKe
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) March 12, 2020
After the advisory, it is learnt that the ministry has suspended issuing visas to citizens of France, Spain and Germany until further notice. This kind of restrictions were already imposed for citizens of China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea as these countries are the worst hit by the outbreak of the virus.
The Coronavirus which broke open last year has laid nearly thousands dead all across the World. Approximately around 3,900 people have died due to this globally-affected epidemic. According to the Indian government data as many as 73 people have been affected so far.
Over the fear of Coronavirus, the airport looks empty as the officers have taken leave due to the fear of Coronavirus. Also at the airport, there is a check post where health check up of the fliers are conducted. People have to fill the concerned forms at the immigration counter. Apart from this, the ministry said that the visa-free travel facility granted to overseas citizen of India (OCI) will also be kept in abeyance until April 15, 2020.