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India to allow foreign tourists after 19 months

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Starting Friday, the country will grant tourist visas to travellers arriving on chartered flights.

The facility will be extended to those arriving on commercial flights from 15 November.

Foreign tourists who land in India on Friday will be the first to come into the country in 19 months.

No tourist visas have been issued since March 2020 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government shut the country’s borders to rein in the coronavirus pandemic. In the past few months though, some visas for diplomats and foreign business officials have been reinstated.

The decision to allow foreign tourists, announced earlier this month, comes at a time when India’s daily Covid cases have been falling.

The country has been recording about 20,000 daily positive infections – down from a peak of 400,000 daily cases during a devastating second wave that swept India in April and May. More than 70% of the population has received one dose of the vaccine. (BBC News)

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