More than a year after India stopped allowing foreign tourists to visit the country due to the Covid 19 pandemic, it has now announced to lift the restrictions by resuming the grant of tourist visas to all visiting foreign tourists from November 15.
According to the statement issued by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the government will start granting fresh tourist visas to foreigners coming to India from November 15. For those coming on chartered flights, visas would be granted from October 15.
“All COVID-19 protocols and norms notified by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to be adhered to by foreign tourists, carriers bringing them into India and other stakeholders at landing stations,” the statement added.
The ministry said in a statement that the decision was taken after the due consultation with various stakeholders like the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism and state governments.
“MHA 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. After deliberations we have decided to ease travel restrictions,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
In the wake of Covid 19 pandemic. India has stopped issuing tourist last year.
Earlier in June, Indian Government has already announced that the visas will be issued free of cost for the first five lakh foreign tourists. This is an attempt to revive the tourism, hospitality, and aviation sectors. The e-tourist visa has been suspended since March 2020.
“It will be the first-come-first-serve basis and the free visa will be issued only till March 31, 2022, whichever is earlier,” said a tourism official.