The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday issued a notification directing all airlines to not allow passengers from Coronavirus-affected countries to board their planes. The authorities issued a notification on Tuesday advising the airlines to this effect.
"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 18th March 2020. No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT on 18th March 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure," read the circular. "All scheduled Indian and foreign airlines engaged in international air transportation to/from India, therefore, are directed to scrupulously follow the above advisory and not to carry any passenger in violation thereof," it added.
The authority had issued a travel advisory on Monday which prohibited airlines from boarding passengers from "member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom." The advisory extended to Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia on Tuesday.
The advisory has been issued till March 31, 2020, and will be revised as per the situation.
In other developments, two Air India pilot unions have written to Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri asking for urgent financial aid to the national carrier, revealing that the Air India crew had not even been paid full wages for the month of January.
The two unions, namely Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG), have written to the Union Civil Ministry stating that amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, the national carrier was going out of its way to rescue citizens from across the globe and all they wanted was their salaries to be paid. The letter also stated that delays in their salaries had been "commonplace for more than a year".
At least 124 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in India with three reported deaths.
Multiple states across the country have taken up measures to contain the spread of the virus, including shutting down schools, universities, malls and other places where a large number of people can gather. Multiple firms have also implemented work from home so as to not expose the employees to the virus.
The Union government announced a travel ban on and suspended all visas and stated that all existing visas, barring diplomatic, UN/International Organisations, employment and project visas, will stand suspended till April 15, 2020.
Globally, over 7,000 people have died due to Coronavirus, with the epicenter being China. The virus has infected around 1,82,000 people globally and has now spread to North America, South America, Europe, New Zealand, and more than 100 other countries.