India has imposed additional visa restrictions on people travelling from or having visited Italy and South Korea, making it mandatory for them to submit certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19 from laboratories authorised by the health authorities of their countries, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
This will come into effect from 0000 hrs of March 10 and is a temporary measure till cases of novel coronavirus subside, the ministry said in a travel advisory.
As of now, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country stand at 30, including 16 Italian tourists. The figure includes the first three cases in the country from Kerala last month who have been discharged following recovery.
The government has already suspended all regular visas/e-visas granted on or before March 3 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan who have not yet entered India in view of the emerging global scenarios regarding COVID19 disease.
According to the advisory, the government has also suspended visa on arrival (VoA) issued on or before March 3 to Japanese and South Korean nationals who have not yet entered India.
Those requiring to travel to India due to compelling reasons, may seek fresh visa from nearest Indian embassy/consulate, said the advisory.
Regular (sticker) visas/e-visas granted to nationals of China, issued on or before February 5, were suspended earlier. It remains in force.
The advisory said regular (sticker) visas/e-visas granted to all foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan on or after February 1 and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect.
It also said 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.
Besides, the health ministry has mandated screening of all foreign nationals since March 4 and has started in most airports from Wednesday evening. Earlier, travellers from only 12 countries were being screened at airports.