The government of India was one of the first countries to implement a travel ban due to the coronavirus (Covid-19). This travel ban still applies and affects travel plans and visas already granted for India. On this page you can stay up to date on the current coronvirus situation in India, and the expectations for the coming months. Most recent update: 30-03-2020.
What is the current situation in India regarding coronavirus?
The Indian government moved very quickly after the outbreak of coronavirus outside of China and implemented a general travel ban, including for travellers with a visa. This policy has led to the number of infections and casualties of coronvirus in India being relatively low. On 30 March 2020 there were 1071 infections and 29 casualties. Despite the current measures, the potential risks in India are quite large. Due to the high population density and subpar hygiene in large parts of the country, the virus can spread quickly if these measures don’t prove to have the desired effect.
India has taken very far-reaching measures against coronavirus, including for people who already hold a visa
Can I currently apply for an Indian visa?
Currently, the application form for the Indian visa on this website can be used as normal. However, submitted applications will not be processed right away by the immigration service of India. Due to the current uncertainties they are put on hold and automatically processed once there is more clarity. No date is currently known on which the visa applications will be processed again, but this is likely not due for another few weeks. Because the Indian e-visa has a validity term of one year, a visa can already be submitted for a trip later this year, even if the precise travel dates have not been confirmed yet.
Will my Indian visa remain valid after coronavirus?
Many travellers already possess a visa for India with a validity term of one year. Theoretically, these visas remain valid and can still be used after the measures surrounding coronavirus expire. The possibility exists that the government of India decides otherwise in the future, but as of yet there is no reason to assume that Indian visas will no longer be valid.
When can I safely travel to India again?
The government of India might have been early with implementing a travel ban, but not with providing information about the measures to be taken in the near future. It is not known when visas for India will be usable again to travel into the country. Currently, it seems that the government of India is relatively successful in limiting the number of infections in their country. However, as long as coronavirus remains a problem in other countries, the measures will continue to apply for an undetermined period. It is expected that travelling to India will be possible again once travellers can prove they are not infected with coronavirus. Due to the long incubation period and other uncertainties on the exact working of the virus, no date can be tied to the lifting or easing up of the measures.
I was not able to leave India, what now?
First of all, observe the guidelines that the British government has put in place for people that are in the United Kingdom. These include keeping an appropriate distance from other people, avoiding social contacts and regularly washing your hands (at least 20 seconds each time). Additionally, observe the guidelines that the Indian government has set in place. From 07:00 until 21:00, you are required to stay at home as much as possible. If your visa is about to expire you can apply for an extension at an FRRO bureau.
Who will pay for all the financial damages of coronavirus?
This is still very unclear, both with regards to the costs of the visa as well as other costs, such as the flights and any bookings. If you booked a package trip you can contact your tour operator or travel agency. If you booked individual flights and hotels, you can contact the parties with which you booked them. However, keep in mind that they might not be able to reimburse all customers and might direct you to your own travel insurance. But even travel insurance companies might end up in trouble if they have to reimburse all trips, and will likely point at a clause that declares that in case of force majeure they won’t need to reimburse any damages. You also can’t contact the Indian government with your claim; the immigration service will not refund any costs for approved visas for India which may have lost their value due to coronavirus.
Disclaimer: The coronavirus situation in India changes quickly, and the immigration service as well as government agencies have not been forthcoming with information about the measures and consequences of using visas in the near future. Therefore, no rights can be obtained from the information on this page, which while having been put together with great care, is not guaranteed to be up to date or complete.