As restrictions ease after the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown, India on Monday decided to reopen the entry of foreign tourists. The decision was spurred by the sustained decline in Covid cases across the country. Foreign travellers can now visit India without a mandatory quarantine.
Fully inoculated tourists from 99 countries, including the UK, USA, Israel, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Kuwait, Colombia, Russia and Germany, are now allowed entry. These countries have recognised the Indian vaccination certificates or WHO-recognised vaccinated Indian travellers in their countries. However, these tourists ought to monitor their health for 14 days after their arrival to the country.
Foreigners who have received only the first dose of the vaccine shall have to go for an RT-PCR test at airports or at any entry point in India. They will also have to go for seven days of self home quarantine in case of a positive test result. An RT-PCR test will be conducted again on the eighth day, following which they are free to roam the country. In case if the person is found positive in the second RT-PCR as well, they will have to stay in home quarantine for another eight days.
Indian authorities had earlier allowed foreign tourists through chartered flights. However, they had to go through a 14-day long home mandatory quarantine. Those restrictions have now been eased.
The visas of all foreign nationals were suspended in March 2020 owing to the pandemic. The government launched an air bubble scheme with 19 countries, including the USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada, the Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan, in December 2020 to allow the passengers stranded in India to return home. Similarly, the Indians stuck in these countries would also be able to return home.