National carrier Air India on Wednesday night announced a temporary suspension of its flight services to Rome, Milan and Seoul. While services to Rome (Italy) are being discontinued from March 15 to March 25, flight operations to Milan (Italy) and Seoul in South Korea will remain suspended between March 14 and March 28, an airline official said. The decision came following the government suspending all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 to prevent the spread of coronavirus on Wednesday.
"All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International organisations, employment and project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure," an official statement said. Visa-free travel facility granted to Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders is also kept in abeyance till April 15, it said.
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, the statement said. Passengers of an Air India flight from Milan to New Delhi, which landed at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Wednesday, were screened as part of the ongoing preventive measure. "The operating crew of the flight has self-quarantined for 14 days," an Air India official said.