India begins to open up visas for foreign tourists

India has begun to open up visas for foreign tourists amid a drop in daily infections.

According to a statement from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Tourist

Visas to foreigners coming to India through chartered flights will be granted with

effect from October 15. Foreign tourists travelling to India by flights other than chartered

aircraft would do so with effect from November 15.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all visas granted to foreigners

were suspended last year. Various other restrictions were also imposed

on international travel by the Central Government of India to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After considering the evolving COVID-19 situation, some of the restrictions, except the tourist visas, were gradually relaxed in the past few months.

"However, the 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. Therefore, the MHA consulted all major stakeholders like

the Ministry of Health & 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

Indian Government said in an official release.

With this, the restrictions placed on visa and international travel

stand further eased given the present overall COVID-19 situation.

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