As Covid-19 cases decrease in India, the country is finally planning on welcoming foreign tourists after one-and-a-half years of closed borders. According to officials, the country will issue free visas to the first five hundred thousands of visitors, in order to reactivate the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors. These are the most affected sectors by the Covid pandemic specially in India, since it’s been on nationwide lockdown since March 2020.
Right now, the Ministry of Home Affairs in India is debating on when and how will the country allow foreign tourists to visit India. Most sources assert that this formal announcement will happen in no longer than 10 days. And this decision is only possible by the decrease in Covid-19 cases in India.
The country is applying vaccination very gently, covering now eight hundred million of people already vaccinated. These free visas will be issued until March, 21, 2020, or after the issuance of five hundred thousands of visas, whatever comes first. The total amount of investment for this measure will rise up to INR one thousand million. The country pretends this measure to stimulate short-term visitors coming to India.
The estimated price of an e-tourist visa that is visiting for a month depends on which specific country you are coming from, but usually is around USD 25. A visa that you can use multiple times in a year is at about USD 40. But this e-tourist visa hasn’t been issued since March 2020. The officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs are still deciding on whether these visas will be issued to foreign tourists under specific requirements, such as being vaccinated or having a negative test for Covid-19. The country is also planning on having this option closed to certain countries where Covid-19 cases are still a worry.
The country expects the opening up of their borders to be phase-wise, as a way to see how it affects the country’s economy as well as its Covid-19 situation. India will then sum up to the list of countries that are now open for tourism and reactivating this activity with ease.