The latest advice on travel to India as country bans entry of foreign tourists

The Indian government has barred the entry of all foreign tourists (Getty Images)

India have barred the entry of all foreign tourists for a month as they attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Starting from March 13 the country will ban the entry of all foreign nationals, including those of Indian origin. Diplomats, and members of international organisations, such as the UN, are exempt.

The measures came after it was revealed that the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in the country had risen to 73.

Can I travel to India?

No, not unless you are an Indian citizen, a diplomat or a member of an international organisation.

Indian nationals returning to the country from Italy, Iran, China, south Korea, France, Spain and Germany will be quarantined for 14 days.

The initial ban is in place until April 13 and it's unclear if this could be extended.

What is the official advice?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued an update to British citizens planning on visiting India.

It said: "The Government of India has announced that it will suspend all existing visas for India due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

"This change will come into effect from 12:00 GMT 13th March 2020 to 15th April 2020 at the port of departure."

This was in addition to previous advice, which stated: "There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, but cases have been confirmed in other countries, including in India.

"The Indian authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. "

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But.similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Should I avoid public places?

Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS