With the increasing number of cases on a daily basis, India on Tuesday banned the entry of Indian passport holders from the United Kingdom, Turkey and the whole of Europe till March 31. The ban will affect Indian passport holders residing in the European Union which consists of 27 countries across Europe, European free trade association that includes four members that Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. The ban was further extended to passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia to India with immediate effect.
As per a statement by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), "Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European free trade association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from March 18, 2020. No airline shall board passengers from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT on March 18, 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure. Both these instructions are temporary measures and shall be in force till March 31, 2020, and will be reviewed subsequently."
Europe: Epicentre of Covid-19
Notably, the earlier this month, India banned the entry of foreign passport holders and Overseas Indian Citizen (OCI) cardholders into the country starting Friday last week. The travel ban will have a direct implication on the flight operation of many airlines as they would be forced to cancel flights into India till the end of this month.
As per a report in the Economic Times, several foreign and international carriers had already cancelled more than 500 flights to and from India even before India decided to restrict the passengers from these countries. Now after the official announcement, the numbers of cancelled is expected to go up further.
World Health Organisation has declared Europe as the epicentre of Corona outbreak after Wuhan, China. Till now, Covid-19 has infected more than 190,000 people and over 7500 have lost their lives. At the time of filing this report, there are 142 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in India with 3 death.