India suspends tourist visas to contain spread of coronavirus

India has suspended tourist visas, from Friday.
India has suspended tourist visas, from Friday.
Image: Gui Yong Kang/123rf.com

India has suspended all tourist visas in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The Indian Consulate Durban on Thursday posted on its Facebook page that all existing visas for travelling to India, except diplomatic, official, UN or international organisations, employment, project visas, stand suspended until April 15. It said this came into effect from Friday afternoon.

Corona Virus Update: All existing visas for travelling to India, except diplomatic, official, UN/International...

Posted by India in South Africa (Consulate General of India, Durban) on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

In a communique posted on the social media network, India's Ministry of home affairs said visas of all foreigners already in India would remain valid.

“Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission for a fresh visa.

“All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from any destination and having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany on or after February 15 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect on March 13 at the post of department of such travellers.”

The Indian Consulate in Durban also cancelled its yoga therapy for diabetics workshop, which was scheduled for Saturday, “in the interest of public health and safety”.

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