Coronavirus: Indian Customs at Delhi airport stop passengers from entering duty-free shopping area
New Delhi, Mar 12: Indian Customs has stopped the passengers who are arriving from 15 nations, including China, the US, Italy and South Korea, from entering duty-free shopping area at the Delhi airport in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the government already cancelling visas with effect from March 13, this would mean that even Indian nationals returning home from these 15 countries will not be allowed to enter the Delhi duty-free shopping area.
The Commissioner of Customs at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, in a notice, said the ban has been put in place "in view of the threat from COVID-19 virus".
Passengers arriving on flights from China, the US, Italy and South Korea, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Spain, France, Vietnam, Nepal and Thailand will not be able to enter the duty-free shopping area due to operational limitations till further orders, it said.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. Globally, there have been over 4,200 deaths in 114 countries due to COVID-19.
The number of infected people in India is 73, as per health ministry data. The government on Wednesday suspended all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment, project visas until April 15.
Also, visa-free travel facility for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) holders has been suspended from March 13 to April 15.