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19 Mar 2020 | 09:24 AM UTC

India: Government bans international incoming flights March 22-29 /update 11

India bans international incoming flights due to COVID-19 March 22-29; confirm travel itineraries



On Thursday, March 19, Indian authorities announced a ban on all incoming international commercial flights from Sunday, March 22, through Sunday, March 29, to prevent further spread of the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All travel with Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Malaysia remains suspended, and individuals coming from the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), Turkey, and the UK are prohibited from entering India via air, land, or sea from Wednesday, March 18, through March 31.

India also blocked access to and from Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday after the union territory reported is first case of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Road blockades have been erected across the region, and some residents were reportedly blocked from leaving their neighborhoods by police and paramilitary units.

To date, there have been more than 150 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, including four associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.