India has announced extreme measures in the battle against the coronavirus. From 22 March onward, commercial international flights are no longer allowed to enter the country. Each week, roughly 300 flights go to India from abroad.
Coronavirus in India
By now, India is also dealing with the coronavirus. The latest numbers show that about 200 people have been infected with the virus, of which 4 have died. These numbers are as of yet exceptionally low for a country with such a high population and population density as India. If we look at countries like Italy, Spain or France, we see thousands of cases of coronavirus infection, with hundreds of casualties as a result. However, the figures from India must be taken with a grain of salt: large-scale testing is difficult due to a shortage of materials, and precisely because India is such a large and diverse country, it will take a relatively long time before a clear picture can be given regarding the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in India.
No more international flights
To curb the spread of the virus while it is still possible, Prime Minister Modi announced a complete stop of all foreign commercial flights to the country. Airports in India will no longer accept these flights. This measure applies from March 22, in addition to the coronavirus measures already in place in India.
News positively received by population
There are as of yet few countries that have implemented a complete stop of incoming flights because of the coronavirus. The announcement of the government was received very positively by the population of India. Prime Minister Modi is praised for placing “lives above companies”. The nationalistic Modi has been running an “India first” policy since his first years as Prime Minister. This recent decision fits well with this. There are even people who blame Modi for acting too late, and that the airspace above India should have been closed as soon as it became clear that the coronavirus was a worldwide pandemic.
What does this mean for my India visa?
Even before this decision, India had already taken measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus by foreign travellers. Tourists from the EU, China, Iran and the United Kingdom were already banned from entering the country. Closing the airspace above India is therefore simply the cherry on top. The situation surrounding the visa for India will thus remain the same: applying for a visa is still possible, but all visa applications for India will only be processed after 15 April. Because the India visa is valid for 365 days a visa can be applied for like normal if you plan to travel to India in a few months.
Take note: the information on this page might be outdated. Before applying for a visa for India, read all about the current state of affairs surrounding the coronavirus in India.