14-day home quarantine advised as India tightens travel curbs
India issued a fresh travel advisory on Tuesday, urging all travellers — both Indian nationals and foreigners — arriving from coronavirus-affected countries to stay under home quarantine for at least 14 days. The advisory makes a special mention of those travellers who are arriving from 12 high-risk countries.
China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain and Germany are among the 12 high-risk nations.
France, Germany and Spain were added to the list after confirmed coronavirus cases in the country reached 60. The fresh advisory has removed Indonesia, Vietnam and Nepal from the list.
“The advisory calls for passengers with travel history to affected high-risk countries to undergo self-imposed quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival and their employers to facilitate work-from-home for such employees during this period,” a Union health ministry statement said.
“All incoming international passengers returning to India must self-monitor their health and follow the recommended “DOs and DON’Ts” since more than 100 countries across the world now have reported cases of Covid-19 and travellers to these countries, or any person having travelled abroad, might have come in contact with people affected with Covid-19 during their stay there or even while in transit at airports,” the advisory said.
The United States was added to the list of high-risk countries in the March 8 travel advisory, but removed, without any explanation, two days later.
“All regular visas [including e-visas] issued...on or before 11.03.2020, and where these foreigners have not yet entered India stands suspended. Regular visas [including e-visas] granted to all foreign nationals who have travel history to these countries on or after 1.2.2020 and who have not yet entered India also stands suspended,” the advisory said.
However, visas of all foreigners already in India remain valid and they may contact the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Office/Foreigner’s Registration Officers (FRRO/FRO) through e-FRRO module for extension/conversion of visa or grant of any consular service, if required. The Bureau of Immigration under ministry of external affairs is looking into the matter.
People travelling from, or having visited, Italy or South Korea will need a certificate of having tested negative for Covid-19 from the designated laboratories authorised by the health authorities of these countries to enter India as a temporary measure.
Restricted entry for cruise ships
The government has restricted entry of cruise ships at Indian ports. Only international cruise ships, which had planned and intimated their call to an Indian port by January 1 will be allowed entry. However, the ships will be directed to those ports that have thermal screening facility for passengers and crew.
Any international cruise ship or any member of its crew or any passenger having a travel history of visiting any of the Covid-19 affected countries after February 1 will not be permitted to enter any Indian port till March 31.
“Shipping agent/master of vessel to submit all documents related to crew and passengers …,” said the release.
Exemptions from such restrictions have been made for diplomats, United Nations’ officials and other international bodies, Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders and air crew from the above mentioned countries on entry.
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