India banned entry for passengers from European Union

New Delhi: In a bid to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the Indian government has banned the entry of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, and the United Kingdom from 18 March.

“No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT on 18 March 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure,” the advisory said. The government has also mandated compulsory quarantining of passengers who had travelled via UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait to India. Such passengers are expected to remain in quarantine for at least 14 days with immediate effect from 18 March. The government said the orders are a temporary measure that will be in force till 31 March.

India has also temporarily banned the entry of passengers from Malaysia, Philippines, and Afghanistan in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The advisory, released on 17 March, mandated that “no flight shall take off from these countries after 3 p.m according to Indian Standard Time (IST), with immediate effect”.

Meanwhile, in the wake of COVID-19, all existing visas, except for diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, project visas, have been suspended till 15 April. Travellers from the seven Corona-affected countries, China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, and Germany, including Indian nationals, who have arrived from or visited these places after 15 February have to be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

As of 17 March, three people have died due to COVID-19 in India. The most recent death was a 64-year-old man from Maharashtra. The country has a total of 137 positive cases, including foreign nationals. Maharashtra has registered the highest number of Coronavirus cases, 39.

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