India cancels travel visas in order to contain further spread of coronavirus

Mar 12 2020, 11:32 am

With over 100,000 confirmed cases of COVD-19 around the world, many countries are stepping up their precautionary measures in an attempt to prevent further spreading.

The Ministry of Health in India issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that all existing travel visas, with the exceptions of official, diplomatic, UN/international organizations, employment, and project visas, would be suspended until April 15, 2020.

The ruling will come into effect on Friday, March 13.

Visa-free travel for Indian citizens living in foreign countries will also be suspended until April 15.

“Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission,” the statement details.

Additionally, all incoming travellers, including Indian citizens that are arriving in India, having visited China, Iran, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Spain, France, and Germany after February 15, 2020, will be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days.

N. Biren Singh, the Chief Minister of Manipur, stated on Twitter that India had closed its border with Myanmar as a preventative measure.

“In view of possible threat of transmission of Coronavirus/COVID-19, Government of Manipur hereby prohibits movement of people across the international border and accordingly orders closure of Gate No. 1, No. 2., Moreh and other crossing points along Manipur sector of Indo-Myanmar border until further orders,” reads Singh’s statement.

On top of these new travel restrictions, travellers journeying from or having been to the Republic of Korea or Italy wishing to enter India will be required to present a certificate proving that they have tested negative for coronavirus.

According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare website, the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus across India is 74.