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Foreign tourists may soon visit Indian shores again

Government planning calibrated reopening for tourist visa holders

India could soon reopen its doors for foreign tourists from countries where Covid situation is under control, by following all required health protocol. Top government officials say inter-ministerial talks are currently on for a calibrated resumption of tourist visas on a country-specific basis.

India had suspended most visas issued to foreigners in March last year due to the Covid pandemic. In the past few months it has allowed foreigners with certain visa types — except tourist — to travel here.
The Union home, external affairs, health, aviation and tourism ministries are having discussions to finalise the proposed calibrated reopening for tourists visa holders. While tourists only from certain countries are likely to be allowed initially, the protocol for those coming here is being worked out in terms of quarantine and other health requirements. The government is mulling issues like whether those coming with a negative report (as per requirement) and proof of having received the required number of Covid vaccine jabs need to be quarantined; if yes, for how long; or not.
Pre-pandemic 2019 saw 1.8 crore international tourist arrivals, with 57% of them coming for leisure and recreation. The top 10 source markets for India, that account for 70% of foreign tourist arrivals, include Bangladesh, US, UK, Australia and Malaysia.

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