India’s announcement that it will effectively close its border for about a month from friday has sparked a rush among citizens to get back home over worries about mandatory quarantines and concerns that flights to the country may get cancelled.
The government late on wednesday suspended “all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, project visas” until april 15 to rein in the spread of Covid-19. The visa-free travel facility for Overseas Citizenship of india (OCI) card holders has been suspended until the same date. The curbs go into effect at 1200 GMT on march 13 at the port of departure.
qatar Airways has reduced services to kozhikode, thiruvananthapuram and kochi by about 44% since march 11. Emirates said the situation remains dynamic and the airline is currently operating services as scheduled across nine destinations. air tanzania and RwandAir have suspended flights to India. An indian airline executive said that domestic operations are also affected as people are deferring official as well as leisure travel plans.