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    Govt suspends all tourist visas till April 15 to contain spread of novel coronavirus

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    The Centre has suspended all tourist visas till April 15 in a bid to contain spread of novel coronavirus. The suspension will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure. The decision was taken at the 6th meeting of group of ministers held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

    An official release said, all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International organisations, employment and project visas stand suspended till 15th April 2020. Visa-free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is also kept in abeyance till April 15.

    Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission. All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 will 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.

    International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities. These will be notified separately by the Home Ministry.

    Provision for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in Italy to be made and collection 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.

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