India to Open Borders to Foreign Tourists after 18 Months

Tajmahal || Photo: Collected

Tajmahal || Photo: Collected

After about 18 months, India has finally opened its borders to foreign tourists. They can now visit India on chartered flights from Friday though those travelling from regular planes will have to wait for another month.

The Union Home Ministry on Thursday announced that with this, the restrictions placed on visa and international travel since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic stand further eased given the present overall pandemic situation.

Foreign tourists entering India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so only with effect from November 15, 2021, on fresh tourist visas.

After considering various inputs, the ministry has decided to begin granting of fresh tourist visas for foreigners coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15, 2021, a home ministry statement said. The Home Ministry took a decision after it consulted all major stakeholders like the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism and various state governments where foreign tourists are expected to arrive.

The statement said that all due protocols and norms relating to Covid-19 as notified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from time to time shall be adhered to by the foreign tourists, carriers bringing them to India and all other stakeholders at landing stations.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all visas granted to foreigners were suspended last year along with various other restrictions. Considering the evolving Covid-19 situation, foreigners were later on allowed to avail any kind of Indian visa other than a tourist visa for entry and stay in India.

However, the Home Ministry had been receiving representations from several state governments as well as various stakeholders in the tourism sector to start tourist visas also to allow foreign tourists to come to India.

Topic : India Tourism

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