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India set to reopen to tourist visas as COVID situation eases

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Foreign nationals will be able to apply for a visa for the first time since March 2020, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imposed a strict lockdown in response to the pandemic.

“After considering various inputs, the MHA (home ministry) has decided to begin granting fresh Tourist Visas for foreigners coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15, 2021,” the Indian home ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

It added that foreigners traveling to India via commercial flights will be able to enter on fresh tourist visas starting November 15, 2021.

Tourism is an important sector for Asia’s third-largest economy, with the country seeing 10.93 million tourist arrivals in 2019, according to government figures.

Restrictions on most categories of foreign visas, such as diplomats and businesspeople, had been gradually lifted but tourists remained barred even as most economic activities resumed. (Foreign Agencies)

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