India cancels all non-official visas, advises against travel abroad

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All non-essentials visas to India have been suspended till 15 April. Travellers coming in may be sent into quarantine, no matter where they are returning from, as per the latest travel advisory

NEW DELHI

Stepping up border control measures with COVID-19 cases on the rise, India took the unprecedented step of canceling all visas, except for a few official categories, till April 15. Even outgoing travel is being cautioned against and a minimum of 14 days’ quarantine will be mandatory.
An official statement said all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment, and project visas stand suspended till April 15. This will come into effect from 12 a.m. GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.
The visa-free travel facility granted to OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cardholders has also been kept in abeyance till April 15. Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for a compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian mission. This would essentially curb the inflow of foreign nationals into the country with visa controls.
All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 will be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. All these measures are applicable from March 13.
Incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, are advised to avoid non-essential travel and have been informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days on their arrival in India.
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.
A provision has been made for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in Italy and collection for samples to be organised accordingly. Those tested negative will be allowed to travel and will be quarantined on arrival in India for 14 days.
Meanwhile, the total number of novel Coronavirus cases reached 73 on Thursday in India, data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. Of these 56 are Indian nationals and 17 are foreigners.

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