The Centre on Thursday decided to make a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign and Indian nationals, who wish to enter or leave the country, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
According to a statement issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the government has decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except those that belong to the electronic, tourist and medical categories.
“If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from Indian missions/posts concerned,” the order said.
Foreign nationals, who intend to visit India for treatment, are allowed to apply for a medical visa, including for their medical attendants, the PIB statement said.
“The decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc,” it added.
It has been decided to permit all Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Persons of Indian origin (PIO)cardholders and all other foreign nationals planning to visit the country for any purpose, except on a tourist visa, to enter by air or water routes through authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts.
This includes repatriation flights operated under the Vande Bharat Mission, air transport bubble arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
However, all such travellers will have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) regarding quarantine as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19 contagion, the order said.
The government took a series of steps to curtail the inward and outward movement of international passengers since March 22 because of the Covid-19 outbreak.