Coronavirus update: India quarantines itself, all visas suspended till Apr 15 due to COVID-19

New Delhi: The sixth meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) was held at Nirman Bhawan yesterday under the chairpersonship of Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare. Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation; S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs; Nityananda Rai, Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs; Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/c), Ministry of Shipping, Chemicals and Fertiliser; 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 the GoM. After detailed deliberations on preventive measures, actions taken and preparedness for Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Group of Ministers decided that all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15 April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13 March at the port of departure.

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 13 March 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, South Korea, France, Spain, and Germany, after 15 February, shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13 March 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 the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Provision for testing primarily for students and 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.


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The ID Staff

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