In view of the rapid spread of coronavirus, the Government of India has suspended Travel Visas to India until April 15, with a few exceptions, according to a statement by the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC.
The Indian government has issued the following instructions:
All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN / International Organizations, employment and project visas, stand suspended till 15 April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT (0800 EST) on 13 March 2020 at the port of departure.
Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till 15 April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT (0800 EST) on 13 March 2020 at the port of departure.
Any foreign national who might need to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission / Consulate.
All incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15 February 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT (0800 EST) on 13 March 2020 at the port of departure.
All incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, would be subject to medical screening and 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. Ministry of Home Affairs will separately notify these check posts.
Following the shutting down of university campuses in various parts of the US in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the government on Thursday advised Indian students to avoid international travel.
The Consulate General of India in New York in its advisory asked the students to either stay put in on-campus housing or move in with friends unless it is necessary. The campuses which have closed are now offering online classes to the students in the US.
The government advised the students who are staying in on-campus housing and have been asked to leave by the school authorities, to check with the university if they can stay back. “If the universities are not accepting applications or have not approved applications for continued housing, ask friends if they will be able to host for the period for which the university has shut down,” the advisory said.
The consulate asked the students to check with their respective university about how to avail of health services, international student services, and any other essential services which are impacted in case on-campus services are suspended.
The consulate has advised the students to avoid all non-essential travel internationally and domestically. “In case students do plan on international travel, they should check with designated school officials (DSOs) how any possible future international travel restrictions may challenge their F1 or J1 visa status,” the advisory said.
The government in its advisory told students that they will be subjected to medical screening upon arrival and may be put in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days, in case they plan to return home in India. (IANS)