India suspends all tourist visas until April 15

Yuti Joshi

The Indian government announced Wednesday that all tourist visas to India are being suspended to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. The order will go into effect on March 13.

"All existing visas issued to nationals of any country except those issued to Diplomats, Officials, UN / International organizations, Employment, Project visas stand suspended till April 15, 2020," the government wrote in an order tweeted by India's Ministry of Health. 

The decision was taken as the the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The government said that all visas of foreigners who are already in the country will remain valid. 

The government added that "All incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, arriving from any destination and having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain or Germany on or after Feb. 15, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days." 

#CoronaVirusUpdate:Visa restrictions issued by Bureau of Immigration (BOI) after meeting of GoM on #COVID19 today.#SwasthaBharat #HelpUsToHelpYou @PMOIndia @drharshvardhan @AshwiniKChoubey @MIB_India @PIB_India @DG_PIB @MEAIndia @MoCA_GoI @shipmin_india @tourismgoi pic.twitter.com/dI8tNxihLW

— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) March 11, 2020

India also suspended issuing visas to citizens of France, Spain and Germany until further notice. Citizens of China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea were already unable to get a visa. 

So far, more than 60 people in India have been diagnosed with coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The government has advised citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to countries affected by the virus. 

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