In an attempt to hit back at China for barring entry of Indians, the government has reportedly informally told airlines to stop flying Chinese nationals into India. Although India has suspended all flights from the neighbouring country, Chinese nationals, who are eligible to travel as per norms, have been flying into India by travelling to a third country, which has a travel bubble with the government.
As per a Times of India report, the government has asked both Indian and international airlines to not fly Chinese nationals to India. While tourist visas are suspended, foreigners are permitted to travel for work and other purposes which require non-tourist visas.
Fearing a backlash, some airlines have asked the authorities to give the directive in writing so they can deny boarding to Chinese nationals as per norms, the report said.Reacting to the report, Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, said that it is wrong to make suggestions as to citizen of which country should come. "There is no such information from our side," Puri said, as quoted by news agency ANI.
It is wrong to make suggestions as to citizen of which country should come. There is no such information from our side: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on reports claiming that India has asked airlines informally not to fly Chinese nationals into the country pic.twitter.com/EsSgmMAnGe
— ANI (@ANI) December 28, 2020
China has in November barred the entry of foreign nationals with valid visas and residence permit from some countries, including India, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Chinese Embassy/ Consulates in India will not stamp the Health Declaration Forms for the holders of the above-mentioned categories of visa or residence permits," Chinese Embassy had said.
Foreigners holding Chinese diplomatic, service, courtesy and C visas are not affected, it clarified.
The move came after 19 Indians tested positive for COVID-19 after landing in Wuhan on November 3 and antibodies were found in the tests of 39 others.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak