COVID-19 Information

May 28, 2020 

Status of Repatriation Flights to the United States

Airlines resumed limited domestic commercial flights in India on May 25. International commercial flights remain suspended, and there are no further U.S. government charter flights scheduled or planned to evacuate U.S. persons from India at this time.

While the Embassy and Consulates remain closed to the public for routine consular services, our team of dedicated professionals continues to work on behalf of U.S. citizens in India.  Please continue to monitor our social media and your STEP account. We will alert you to additional commercial flights as they become available.

Indian Visa Extension

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has put out an April 18 notice that regular visas and e-visas of foreign nationals who have been stranded in India because of the spread of COVID-19, and due to travel restrictions imposed by the Indian authorities, whose visas have expired or will expire before May 3 may be extended after making an online application. Exit of India will also be granted up to May 17 without levy of overstay penalty. 

Country-Specific Information: 

  • As of 8:00am, May 28, 2020, India reported 158,332 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, across 27 States and Union Territories in India. Of these cases, 86,110 are considered active.Sixty-seven thousand six hundred ninety-one have recovered, and there have been 4,531 deaths.
  • Effective March 22, the Government of India suspended all international flights arriving and departing from India for at least one week.
  • Prime Minister Modi announced a public curfew on March 22 from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. On May 1, the curfew was extended until May 18.  For the complete guidelines on restrictions, visit the Ministry of Home Affairs webpage, and consult “Guidelines.”
  • Following a high level meeting of Indian ministers on March 16, the government proposed extensive social distancing measures, including closure of all schools, museums, and cultural and social centers;prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people; and calling on the public to avoid all non-essential travel. The complete list of measures can be found here.
  • On March 16, 2020 the Government of India expanded compulsory quarantine for passengers coming from or transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. Fourteen-day mandatory quarantine also applies to passengers from China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, and Germany.
  • On March 16, 2020 the Government of India prohibited the entry of passengers from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Turkey, and the UK. On March 17, the government also prohibited the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, and Malaysia.
  • In addition to the restrictions put in place by the central government, on March 16, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced mandatory quarantine for travelers from the United States, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. Other states have announced disparate restrictions as well, including the prohibition of entry of foreigners.
  • All existing visas [except diplomatic, official, United Nations or International Organizations, employment, and project visas] are suspended until April 15, 2020. This measure went into effect at 12:00 GMT on March 13, 2020 at all ports of entry.
  • The Ministry of Shipping issued extensive Standard Operating Procedures on March 11 to handle COVID-19 for international cruise ships at major ports in India. 

Entry and Exit Requirements: 

(begin Government of India travel advisory, dated March 17, 2020)

ADVISORY: TRAVEL AND VISA RESTRICTIONS RELATED TO COVID-19

In addition to the Visa restrictions already in place, the following travel restriction shall also come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 18, 2020:

All passengers coming from European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Turkey and United Kingdom have been prohibited from entering India from any of the Land/Air/Seaport ICPs.  This restriction shall come into effect from 1200 hrs GMT on March 18, 2020 at the port of first departure and shall remain till March 31, 2020 and is a temporary measure. 

The earlier visa restrictions, as mentioned below, shall also remain in force:

  • All existing visas issued to nationals of any country except those issued to Diplomats, Official passport holders, those in UN/International organizations, those on Employment, Project visas and those who are operating aircrew of scheduled commercial airlines, and who had not yet entered India, stand suspended effective 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 till April 15, 2020.
  • Visas of all foreign nationals already in India remain valid. They may contact the nearest FRRO/FRO through e-FRRO module for extension/ conversion etc. of their visa or other consular service.
  • The validity of OCI card of foreigners presently in India shall remain.
  • Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders who are not in India presently, has been kept in abeyance till April 15, 2020. This came into effect at 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India.
  • Any foreign national (including OCI cardholder) who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission for a new visa.

Mandatory compliance of travel advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

  • 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.
  • All incoming travelers, 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 came into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 at the port of departure.
  • 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.
  • Incoming travelers 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.
  • Indian nationals are further strongly advised to refrain from travel to China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, Japan, France, Spain & Germany.
  • 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.
  • International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities. For a full list of restrictions at land borders, please see the link here.
  • 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.

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: 

  • No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take from any foreign airport for any airport in India, after 0001 GMT of March 22, 2020 (0530 Indian Standard Time (IST) of March 22, 2020). These instructions shall remain in force till 0001 GMT of March 29, 2020.
  • A maximum travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial aircraft to land in India.
  • As such, no incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passengers on Indian soil (Foreigner or Indian) after 2001 GMT of March 22, 2020 (0131 IST of March 23, 2020).
  • 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.
  • 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 the government.

(end Government of India travel advisory)

For more information about coronavirus related entry and exit requirements, please follow:  https://boi.gov.in/content/coronavirus-related-visa-restrictions-and-conditions-entry-india

Airport Screening, Testing, and Quarantine Information:

  • Thermal (fever) screening, along with inflight completion of a self-declaration form (including personal particulars, i.e., phone number and address in India) and travel history is now being implemented upon arrival in India for all international passengersat airports and seaports.
  • Passengers who are symptomatic or screened positive for fever by automated fever scanners will be taken to designated isolation facilities for further evaluation and testing for the virus that causes COVID-19.
    • If the laboratory test is confirmed positive for the virus, they will be held at the isolation facility for further management.
    • If two consecutive laboratory tests of samples collected 24-48 hours apart are negative, they will be discharged after the symptoms resolve. They will be provided COVID-19 information material encouraging them to self-report if symptoms recur in next 28 days.
    • The information on these passengers will be shared with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare staff for further follow-up of these passengers at their homes for next 28 days.
  • In addition to thermal screening for most arriving international passengers, the Government of India has implemented a new self-declaration health form that is required of all international passengers. Some domestic travelers have also been required to complete the form for flights within India.  The form is in addition to the immigration forms previously required.  Not all airlines or airports have stock of the forms on hand.
  • To assist you with travel preparations, a copy of the form is attached to this notice and it is linked here.
  • The form asks for travel history of COVID-19-affected countries. India bases its list of COVID-19-affected countries off the current list of World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Situation Reports which outlines countries with known community transmission,available at this website (Table 2 in the report):  https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports.  The list now includes the United States as well as India.

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