India travel ban now includes India passport holders due to COVID-19 coronavirus
More banned countries also added to list
The India travel ban was further extended to arriving international passengers, saying that it would not allow entry to even Indian passport holders residing in the United Kingdom, Turkey, and whole of Europe until the end of March.
“Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European free trade association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from March 18, 2020. No airline shall board passengers from these nations to India with effect from March 18, 2020. No airline shall board passengers from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT on March 18, 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure. Both these instructions are temporary measures and shall be in force till March 31, 2020, and will be reviewed subsequently,” said the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
India has also banned the entry of passengers from 3 more countries. They are the Philippines, Malaysia, and Afghanistan. This step is in line with measures to see that the COVID-19 coronavirus does not spread in the country.
This India travel ban follows a recent ban on entry foreign passport holders and Overseas Indian Citizen (OCI) cardholders into the country starting Friday last week. However, Indian passport holders were allowed to enter India. The ban will impact flight operations of many airlines, who will now have to cancel flights into India until the end of this month.
Even before the Indian government announced its decision to close the country from Friday and the current ban, several foreign and international carriers had cancelled over 500 flights to and from India. With the new restrictions in place, a large number of cancellations will happen by European carriers.
The government has also expanded the compulsory quarantine – for a period of 14 days – for passengers coming from the UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait with effect from 1200 GMT on March 18, 2020.
India had announced late last week to compulsorily quarantine passengers coming from seven countries: China, Korea, Iran, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. It had also decided to put them under 3 categories depending on their health. With this addition, India has made Indian nationals coming from 11 nations to go through a mandatory quarantine.