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India likely to allow foreign tourists to visit soon

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

India likely to allow foreign tourists to visit soon-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Sep 19, 2021, 2:08 PM IST
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New Delhi: With the decline in Covid cases in the country, India may soon reopen its doors for foreign tourists for the first time in one-and-a-half years, officials told PTI.

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, first five lakh foreign tourists will be issued visas free of cost.

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

A formal announcement permitting foreign tourists to visit India could be made within the next 10 days, according to Ministry officials.

The free visa move is expected to incentivise short-term tourists visiting India, the official said, PTI quoted. The cost for a month-long e-tourist visa is country specific but is around USD 25. A year-long multiple entry e-tourists visa charge is around USD 40.

Also read: Coronavirus: India reports 30,773 new COVID-19 cases, recovery rate at 97.68%

On Sunday, 30,773 new cases were reported while active cases had come down to 3.32 lakh.

India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage has also crossed 80 crore as on Saturday.

Free visas for tourists will be issued until March 31, 2022 or the issuance of five lakh visa, whichever is earlier. The total financial implication for this would be Rs 100 crore.

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, as quoted by PTI.

Many countries, including European countries, are already open to tourism.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona  

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