The Indian government has moved to drastically limit the number of people it allows to enter the country, suspending visas for visitors from all other countries for at least a month in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure, one of the most far-reaching responses yet to the Covid-19 outbreak by any government, effectively bans all tourism to India until at least 15 April. It will be enforced from Friday onwards.
The announcement came as the number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 72 on Thursday, and amid mounting concerns that the country’s beleaguered health system and densely populated cities would make it extremely difficult to contain a fully fledged outbreak.
Announcing the move, the health ministry said that “all Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad”, warning they could be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon their return. “Indian nationals presently abroad are advised to avoid non-essential travel,” the notice added.