Because of the current rise in COVID-19 cases in India a high-level Group of Ministers conducted a meeting and reviewed the status of the situation and for prevention and management of COVID-19, issued a revised travel advisory.
A second meeting of the GoM was held at Ninnan Bhawan yesterday under the chairpersonship of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare. Sh. Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Sh. Nityananda Rai, Minister of State for Home, Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Uc), Ministry of Shipping, Chemicals, and Fertilisers and Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare were present. The recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries chaired by Cabinet Secretary were placed before GoM.
After detailed deliberations on preventive measures, actions taken and preparedness for Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Group of Ministers took the following decisions:
- All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till April 15. This will come into effect from midnight GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.
- A visa-free travel facility granted to OCI cardholders is kept in abeyance till April 15. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.
- Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission.
- All incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, and Germany after February 15 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.
- Incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days on their arrival in India.
- 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.
- International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities. These will be notified separately by MA, Home Affairs.
- Provision for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in Italy to be made and collected for samples to be organized accordingly. Those tested negative will be allowed to travel and will be quarantined on arrival in India for 14 days.
(With inputs from thelivenagpur)