NewsMarch 12, 2020

Sri Lanka and India Suspends On-Arrival Visa for Tourists

Sri Lanka and India has temporarily suspended visa on arrival for foreigners in light of COVID-19 pandemic scare.

India is temporarily suspending all tourist visas amid the global COVID-19 outbreak effective Friday, March 13.

“All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020,” the Indian Health Ministry tweeted Wednesday.

The health ministry also advised Indian citizens to avoid non-essential travel and informed them they’re potentially subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

India currently has 60 confirmed cases of the virus and 1 death — nearly 20 times less than the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

The Sri Lankan Government Information Department issued a statement on 11th March which said that under the quarantine procedure currently in place with the aim of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country, all Sri Lankans as well as foreigners arriving from Italy, South Korea and Iran are placed in quarantine facilities for 14 days.

Several foreigners who had arrived in the country from those countries are already placed in quarantine.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is halting on-arrival visa for tourists until further notice, in a new COVID-19 control measures, after the first domestic transmission of the virus was reported earlier in the day.

However Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid has announced that Maldivians will continue to get on arrival tourist visa to Sri Lanka as per the Agreement on Visa facilitation signed between the Government of Maldives and Government of Sri Lanka.

In February, Sri Lanka extended the free visa-on-arrival scheme until April 30 for the citizens of 48 countries.

Sri Lanka in January suspended its policy of granting visa on arrival for Chinese travelers, after the health authorities detected the country’s first COVID-19 infection.

In light of COVID-19 outbreak, countries all over the world are putting travel bans and issuing travel advisories. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, with one of the organization’s leaders citing the severity and the speed at which the disease is spreading.