Highlights

  • India to allow foreign tourists to visit the country soon
  • This is the first time this has happened since the national lockdown in March 2020
  • Indian government is looking to incentivise travel to India

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Covid-19: India to welcome foreign tourists for the first time in 19 months

Amid a decline in Covid cases in the country, India may soon open its doors to foreign travellers, say officials. 

 

India is set to reopen its doors for foreign tourists for the first time in one-and-a-half years, since the Covid pandemic started in 2020, officials said. 

First five lakh foreign tourists will be issued visas free of cost, in an attempt to revive the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors, badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020 when a nationwide lockdown was announced.

Top Union home ministry officials are deliberating with all stakeholders on the expected date and modalities for opening up of the country for foreign tourists.

A formal announcement allowing foreign tourists to visit India may come within the next 10 days, an official from the Home Ministry said.

The home ministry officials said they are still deliberating whether the entry of foreign tourists will be allowed with certain conditions like limiting it to only vaccinated travellers for now and having a negative list of countries where Covid-19 cases remain a concern.

The opening up is also expected to be phase-wise to see the response and implications, another official said.
Many countries, including some of those in Europe, have already opened up for tourism.

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