NEW DELHI :
The government suspended visas and e-visas granted on or before Tuesday to people travelling from Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan, effective immediately, after a surge in cases of Covid-19 in these countries.
“Those requiring to travel to India due to compelling reasons, may seek fresh visa from nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate," the government said.
India stopped issuing visas to Chinese nationals on 5 February following the outbreak in the country, and the new travel advisory reflects the rapid spread of the virus in the four countries.
The fresh ban applies to all regular (sticker) Visas/e-Visa (including VoA for Japan and South Korea) granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and issued on or before 3 March 2020. Those requiring to travel to India due to compelling reasons, may seek fresh visas.
“Diplomats, officials of UN and other International bodies, OCI cardholders and Aircrew from above countries are exempted from such restriction on entry. However, their medical screening is compulsory. Passengers of all international flights entering into India from any port are required to furnish duly filled self declaration form (including personal particulars i.e. phone no. and address in India) and travel history, to health officials and immigration officials at all ports," it said.
The government has also said that passengers (foreign and Indian) other than those restricted, arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan must undergo medical screening at the port of entry.
The government has advised Indian citizens to refrain from travel to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and avoid non-essential travel to other Covid-19 affected countries.
South Korea now has 4,800 cases, the largest number outside China, while in Italy there are over 2,000 who have tested positive. In Iran, the number has risen to 1,501 as of Tuesday from less than 1,000 on Monday, while there are 274 cases in Japan, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
There are more than 100 cases each in the US, Singapore, Spain, Germany and France.
On Monday, the Indian government confirmed two fresh cases of coronavirus, one in Delhi and another in Telangana. In addition, six suspected cases have likely been detected in Agra who may have come in contact with the patient from Delhi. The government is awaiting test results from the National Institute of Virology in Pune, the health ministry said on Tuesday.