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Coronavirus outbreak | Govt suspends all tourist visas until April 15

The health ministry said all travellers, including Indians who visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany, and arrived in India after February 15 shall be quarantined for a minimum 14-day period.

March 12, 2020 / 11:40 AM IST

The government said on March 11 that it will suspend all tourist visas in a sweeping attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across India continued to rise.

"All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, U.N./international organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020," the health ministry said in a tweet.

The advisory said anyone with a "compelling reason" to travel to the country could contact their nearest Indian mission, but it was not clear if the ban would include short-term business visas.

The order will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13.

Separately, the government issued a statement saying that the decision to suspend visas until April 15 was taken by a group of ministers. The government also urged Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.


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The government advisory on March 11 is one of the most wide-reaching advisories since the outbreak began in late December.

On March 11, the government suspended issuing visas to citizens of France, Spain and Germany until further notice. Such restrictions were already in place for citizens of China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea — the five countries worst hit by the outbreak of the virus.

India has also closed a border with neighbouring Myanmar to counter the coronavirus outbreak. "As a precautionary measure (to prevent) transmission of coronavirus/COVID-19, the international border with Myanmar has been closed ... until further orders," N. Biren Singh, chief minister of Manipur, which shares a border with Myanmar, said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The total cases of coronavirus in the country rose to more than 60 on Wednesday, according to government data.

All travellers, including Indians who visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany, and arrived in India after February 15, 2020, shall be quarantined for a minimum 14-day period.

The ministry also said the visa-free travel facility granted to overseas citizen of India (OCI)- cardholders will also be kept in abeyance until April 15, 2020. This suspension will also take effect on March 13.

Also read | Coronavirus outbreak: 10 positive cases in Maharashtra, says CM Uddhav Thackeray

(With inputs from Reuters)

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first published: Mar 11, 2020 10:11 pm
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