'Only Essential Travel To India': Foreign And Commonwealth Office

UK News

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK has released an advisory against travelling to India amidst the Coronavirus scare in the country.

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

Following the Government of India's announcement of prohibiting passengers from the UK, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has released an advisory against travelling to India. India had announced that from 18 March 2020, Airlines will not allow passengers from the United Kingdom to board planes.

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The acting High Commissioner for the UK to India, Jan Thompson said that her government advises against "all but essential travels to India". Through a video statement, she said that the decision has been taken following India's announcement of "prohibiting passengers from other European countries as well as Turkey from entering India". 

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Seeking to inform people about other restrictions in India she said: "British nationals should be aware that other measures are currently in place across India. There are restrictions on large gatherings in many places such as New Delhi. Some Indian states have imposed additional measures such as restricting entry or quarantining foreign nationals on arrival". 

The British diplomat cited an example of Kerala and how the state has made "14 days of self-isolation a requirement for all foreign nationals entering the state". In India, the first case of Coronavirus was detected in Kerala in January 2020 and with 27 positive cases, the state is the second-worst hit in the country. 

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Ms Thompson also shared the status of other Indian states and suggested to avoid travelling unless essential. "States such as Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Tripura are no longer allowing foreign nationals to enter and the chief minister of Goa has encouraged the tourists to leave the state", she said. She also added that this was not "an exhausted list" and the situation "remained fluid". 

The advisory also clarified the status on British citizens already in India. It said that the travel restriction "does not affect British Nationals already in India who should follow the advice of local authorities". It also highlighted some of the steps taken by the Indian government to help foreign nationals. For example, India's Ministry of Tourism has started around the clock multi-lingual helpline number for visitors. The toll-free number is 1800111363 where visitors could gather information regarding travelling currently to India.

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