Relief for Foreign Nationals stuck in the Lockdown

The Ministry of External Affairs issued an awaited notification on 2nd April 2020, allowing the transit of foreign nationals stranded in India in the lockdown. The Ministry of External Affairs shall determine and allow the transit on a case-to-case basis.

The foreign nationals will be transferred to their respective countries in a chartered flight arranged by their respective governments in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India.

In its notification, the MEA has directed screening of the foreign nationals for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to departure. Only those foreign nationals would be allowed to leave who are asymptomatic for COVID-19. In the case of asymptomatic persons, the future course of treatment would be followed, as per the standard health protocol. The notification further read:

“The local transportation arrangements from the place of stay of the foreign national(s) to the point of embarkation would be arranged by the local Embassy/Consulate of the respective foreign government. The transit pass for movement of the vehicle deployed for movement of the foreign national(s) would be issued by the Government of the State/Union Territory where the foreign national(s) is/are staying”

The move comes in response to the representations made by some foreign nations requesting for the evacuation of their nationals stranded in India due to the lockdown.