On Thursday October 7th, authorities in India announced that tourist visas will be again granted to foreign travelers after an 18-month pause due to the pandemic.
The Ministry of Health and Family (MHA) will begin granting tourist visas to travelers coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15, 2021.
Foreign tourists entering the country by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so only with effect from November 15, 2021 on new tourist visas.
All due protocols and norms relating to Covid-19 as notified by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare shall be adhered to by the foreign tourists, carriers bringing them into India and all other stakeholders at landing stations.
Last year, all visas granted to foreigners were suspended due to the increased number of Covid-19 cases seen across the country. Various other restrictions were also imposed on international travel by the Central Government to try to stop the spread of the virus. In the spring of this year, India became the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic with thousands of deaths daily.
According to official figures, India received 10.6 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019, while in 2018, foreign exchange earnings from tourism amounted to $28.6 billion. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that there have been close to 450,000 deaths and 33,894,312 cases in the country. So far, 18.63% of the population has been fully vaccinated.