- Fully vaccinated foreign visitors travelling on chartered flights allowed entry to India starting today.
- International travelers on regular flights will be able to enter India starting from November 15.
- It is unclear whether arriving tourists will have to quarantine but they must be fully vaccinated and test negative for the virus within 72 hours of their flight.
Foreign visitors are finally allowed to enter India again, for the first time since March 2020, when the country imposed its first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
In the latest relaxation of its COVID-19 curbs, Indian government officials announced on Friday that the country has reopened to fully vaccinated international visitors traveling on chartered flights.
Foreign travelers on regular flights will be able to enter India starting from November 15, officials added.
It is not yet clear whether arriving tourists will have to quarantine in India, but they must be fully vaccinated and test negative for the COVID-19 virus within 72 hours of their flight.
The decision to reopen the country, announced earlier this month by India’s home ministry, comes as India’s daily infections have dropped below 20,000 from a peak of 400,000 in May and more people have been vaccinated.
India has administered more than 970 million vaccine doses. Nearly 70 percent of the eligible adult population has had at least one dose.
The easing of restrictions on foreign tourists visiting the country, however, coincides with India’s domestic tourist and festive season. Already, it has prompted concerns by health officials who have warned against complacency.
Earlier this month, the Indian Council of Medical Research, India’s premier medical body, cautioned that “revenge tourism” could lead to a surge in COVID-19 infections if tourists don’t strictly adhere to safety protocols.
According to official data, fewer than three million foreign tourists visited India in 2020, which was a dip of more than 75 percent as compared with 2019.