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News18 » India
1-min read

India’s Ban on Incoming International Flights From Today as Citizens Abroad Worry About Expiring Visas

The last disembarkation by international carriers for India is allowed till 1:31am IST on March 23 as India has suspended all international flights for a week.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:March 23, 2020, 2:00 AM IST
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India’s Ban on Incoming International Flights From Today as Citizens Abroad Worry About Expiring Visas
Representational Image: PTI

New Delhi: India’s ban on incoming international flights will come into effect after midnight on Sunday as the country goes into a partial lockdown to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

The last disembarkation by international carriers for India is allowed till 1:31am IST on March 23 as India has suspended all international flights for a week. For EU nations as well as UK, Turkey, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Philippines, the suspension of flights will last till March 31.

India has been advising people to stay where they are and not travel during this period as it is leading to the spread of the virus.

While long queues and chaotic scenes have been witnessed at the Delhi airport for the last couple of days with Indian citizens abroad trying to make their way back to the country, some decided to stay where they were or couldn’t make arrangements to come back at such a short notice. The ban on incoming flights was announced on Thursday.

Concerns were raised by many Indians abroad about the expiry of their visas. The Indian High Commissioner in UK, Ruchi Ghanshyam, put out a message saying they have been in touch with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office in the UK to resolve these issues.

She assured that the Home Office, UK, was working on guidance for Indians and others whose visas are due to expire but are currently unable to leave due to the impact of COVID19.

The Home office has assured the Indian High Commission, “while that work is ongoing, foreign nationals in the UK do not need to be concerned about their immigration status: no one will be unfairly penalized for event beyond their control as a result of COVID19.”

Meanwhile, all visas to India stand suspended till April 15, 2020. Visa-free travel facility for OCI card holders too is suspended till the 15th of next month.

India has taken gradual steps towards cutting off all links for a week with the outside world in order to slow down the number of infections. All initial positive cases of COVID 19 in India were “imported cases” and those who were in close contact with the imported cases.

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