Indian Government imposes restrictions on Indian passport holders from EU, Turkey and the UK
The new travel ban comes as an extension of the recent travel restriction imposed on entry of 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.Talking about the development, aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “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 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.”
While the European Union consists of 27 countries spread across Europe, the European free trade association constitutes four members including Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. This new ban is said to impact flight operations of many airlines, who will now have to cancel flights into India till 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. Apart from this, the government has also expanded the compulsory quarantine – for a period of 14 days – for passenger coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait with effect from 1200 GMT on March 18, 2020.
In the late last week, India had announced a compulsory quarantine of passengers coming from seven countries that are China, Korea, Iran, Spain, France, Germany and Italy. It had also decided to put them under three categories depending on their health. With this addition, India has made Indian nationals coming from 11 nations to go through a mandatory quarantine.