ADVISORY: TRAVEL AND VISA RESTRICTIONS RELATED TO COVID-19

Vide MHA Order NoNO.40-3/2020-DM-I (A) Dated 5th May, 2020

A.     Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country
i.    Such persons will register themselves with the Indian Missions in the country where they are stranded, along with necessary details as prescribed by MEA.
ii.    They will travel to India by non scheduled commercial flights to be arranged by Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA); and, naval ships to be arranged by Department of Military Affairs (DMA). Only those crew and staff, who are tested COVID-19 negative, will be allowed to operate these flights/ ships.
iii.    Priority will be given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers/ labourers who have been laid off, short term visa holders faced with expiry of visas, persons with medical emergency/ pregnant women/ elderly, those required to return to India due to death of family member, and students.
iv.    The cost of travel, as specified by MoCA/ DMA will be borne by such travellers.
v.    Based on the registrations received, MEA will prepare flight/ ship wise database of all such travellers, including details such as name, age, gender, mobile phone number, place of residence, place of final destination; and information on RT-PCR test taken and its result. This data base will be shared by MEA with the respective State/ UT in advance.
vi.    MEA will display with at least two days notice, the schedule (day, place and time of arrival) of the incoming flight/ ship, on their online digital platform.

vii.    Before boarding, all travellers shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days on arrival in India, at their own cost.
viii.    At the time of boarding the flight/ ship, thermal screening as per health protocol. Only asymptomatic travellers would be allowed to board the flight/ ship.
ix.    Passengers arriving through the land borders will also have to undergo the same protocol as above, and only those who are asymptomatic will be enabled to cross the border into India.
x.         Self-declaration form (with health and personal details) in duplicate will be filled in     advance by all passengers coming from any point of entry, i.e., land, sea or airports, and a copy of the same will be given to Health and Immigration officials present at the airport/ seaport/ landport.
xi.    While on board the flight/ ship, the health protocol of MoCA/ DMA will be strictly followed. This would include wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. to be observed by airline/ ship staff, crew and all passengers.
xii.    On arrival, thermal screening, as per health protocol, would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the Health officials present at the airport/ seaport/ landport.
xiii.    All passengers shall be asked to download ArogyaSetu app on their mobile devices.
xiv.    The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately taken to medical facility as per health protocol.
xv.    The remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective State/ UT Governments. These facilities may be as far as possible, in the district headquarters, of the district to which the arriving passengers belongs.
xvi.    These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days.
xvii.    If they test negative after 14 days, they will be allowed to go home and will undertake self-monitoring of their health for 14 more days as per protocol. The remaining persons will be shifted to the medical facility by the State/ UT Government.


Vide MHA Order No NO.40-3/2020-DM-I (A) Dated 5th May, 2020

B. Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for movement of persons stranded in India who are desirous to travel abroad
i.    Such persons will apply to Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) or to any agency designated by MoCA for this purpose, along with necessary details, including the places of departure and arrival, as prescribed by MoCA.
ii.    Only those persons shall be allowed to travel to the destination countries, who are citizens of that country; who hold visa of at least one year duration of that country; and green card or OCI card holder. In cases of medical emergency or death in the family, Indian Nationals holding six month visa can also be allowed.
iii.    Before the tickets of such persons are confirmed, MoCA will ensure that the destination country allows entry of such persons in that country. The conditions, if any, imposed by the destination country, will have to be fulfilled by the person intending to travel.
iv.    The travel from India shall be by on the non scheduled commercial flights that are being arranged by MoCA for bringing back stranded Indian Nationals from abroad.
v.    The cost of travel, as specified by MoCA, will be borne by such travellers.
vi.    At the time of boarding the flight, MoCA will ensure that all travellers undergo thermal screening as per health protocol. Only asymptomatic travellers would be allowed to board the flight.
vii.    While on board the flight, health protocol as issued by MoCA will be strictly followed. This would include wearing of masks, environmental hygiene, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene etc. to be observed by airline staff, crew and all passengers.


BOI Advisory

1.    All incoming passenger traffic, on all 107 Immigration Check Posts which includes all Airport ICPs, all Seaport ICPs all Land Port ICPs, all Rail Port ICPs and all River Port ICPs, is prohibited, in the view of the spread of COVID-19.
Vehicles/Trains carrying goods for the trade or essential goods and supplies are exempted from this prohibition along with their crew, driver, helper, cleaner etc. subject to their thorough screening by the medical staff for COVID-19.
2.    The visa restrictions, as mentioned below, shall remain in force

1.    All existing Visas granted to Foreigners except to those belonging to Diplomatic, Official, UN/International organizations, Employment and Project categories shall remain suspended till prohibition on international  travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India.(Vide MHA OM No. 25022/24/2020-FV/FI(i) dated 5th May, 2020).
2.    “Regular Visa, e-visa or stay stipulation of such foreign nationals whose visa have expired or would be expiring during the period from 01.02.2020(Mid night) till the date on which prohibition on international  air travel of passengers from India is lifted by the Government of India, would be extended on ‘GRATIS’’ basis on submission of online application by the foreigners. Such extensions would be granted for a period up to 30 days from the date of lifting of prohibition on international air travel of passengers from India without levy of overstay penalty. Exit to such foreign nationals, if so requested by them, will also be granted on the same lines.” (Vide MHA OM No. 25022/24/2020-FV/FI(ii) dated 5th May, 2020).
3.    The validity of OCI card of foreigners presently in India shall remain.

4.    Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders, has been kept in abeyance till prohibition on international travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India. Any foreign national (including OCI cardholder) who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission for fresh visa. (Vide MHA OM No. F.NO.26011/Misc./83/2020-OCI dated 5th May, 2020).

Vide MHA Order No. 26011/Misc/83/2020-OCI dated 22.05.2020, the following categories of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), who are stranded abroad, are permitted to come to India:

(i)   Minor children born to Indian nationals abroad and holding OCI cards

(ii)  OCI card holders who wish to come to India on account of family emergencies like death in family.

(iii)Couples where one spouse is an OCI card holder and the other is an Indian national and they have a permanent residence in India.

(iv)    University students who are OCI card holders (not legally minors) but whose parents are Indian citizens living in India.

5.    International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated Immigration Check posts that have been notified by MHA vide O.M. No.25022/12/2017-Imm dated March 14, 2020.


Mandatory compliance of Travel Advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India
1.    Travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia to India is prohibited with immediate effect. No Flight shall take-off from these countries to India after 1500 hours Indian Standard Time (IST). The Airlines shall enforce this at the port of initial departure. This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be enforced till 31st March 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently.
2.    Passengers travelling from / having visited Italy or Republic of Korea and desirous of entering India will need certificate of having tested negative from COVID-19 from the designated laboratories authorized by Health Authority of these countries. This is enforcement since 0000 hrs. of March 10, 2020 and is a temporary measure till cases of COVID-19 subside.
3.    All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after Feb. 15, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 at the port of departure.
4.    All passengers coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait will be placed under compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days which shall come into effect from 1200 hrs GMT on March 18, 2020 at the port of first departure.
5.    Incoming travellers including Indian nationals are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days on their arrival in India.
6.    Indian nationals are further strongly advised to refrain from travel to China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, Japan, France, Spain & Germany.
7.    All incoming international passengers returning to India should self-monitor their health and follow required do’s and don’ts as detailed by the Government.
8.    International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities. These have been notified separately by Ministry of Home Affairs.
9.    All international passengers entering into India are required to furnish duly filled self-declaration form in duplicate (including personal particulars i.e. phone no. and address in India) (as annexed) to Health Officials and Immigration officials and undergo Universal Health Screening at the designated health counters at all Points of Entry.
10.    For any queries related to health, people may contact Ministry of Health & Family Welfare 24*7 helpline number (+91-11-23978046) or email at (ncov2019@gmail.com).


Mandatory compliance of Travel and Visa restrictions related to COVID-19 from Director General of Civil Aviation to be followed by all scheduled Indian and Foreign Airlines engaged in International air transportation to/from India.
1.    All scheduled international commercial passenger services shall remain closed till prohibition on international travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India. However, this restriction will not apply to international cargo operations and flights especially approved by DGCA.
2.    No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take from any foreign airport for any airport in India, after 0001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (0530 hrs Indian Standard Time (IST) of March 22, 2020). These instructions shall remain in force till prohibition on international travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by the Government of India.
3.    A maximum travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial aircraft to land in India.
4.    As such, no incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passengers on Indian soil (Foreigner or Indian) after 2001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (0131 hrs IST of March 23, 2020).
5.    All passengers who have visited COVID-19 affected countries duly identified by Government of India in earlier travel advisories, who have visited these countries on or after February 15, 2020; and which are mentioned hereunder again:- China, Iran and EU, EU FTA, Turkey, UK (from where passengers have been prohibited from entering India from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia (in force from March 17), shall remain in force and no scheduled international commercial airline shall carry or disembark such passengers on Indian soil.
6.    These instructions are in addition to the travel restrictions/advisories already issued and under implementation. The above are temporary measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19, and are subject to review by Government.