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New Delhi, March 11, 2020
The Government today announced several new restrictions on travel to India as part of the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including suspension of all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, until April 15.
This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure, an official press release said here late tonight.
The decisions were taken at a second meeting of the Group of Ministers here to review the current status and actions for prevention and management of COVID-19, it said.
The meeting, chaired by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, among others.
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 COVID-19, the GoM took various decisions.
The release said visa-free travel facility granted to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March at the port of departure.
Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian mission, it said.
All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15th February 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, the release said.
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, it said.
Provision for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in Italy will be made and collection for samples will be organized accordingly. Those tested negative will be allowed to travel and will be quarantined on arrival in India for 14 days, the release added.