Centre gears up to resume issuing tourist visas after 1.5 years

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  • Tourist visas have been suspended since March 2020, from the day the first confinement was announced. Later, several categories of visas like business, employment and others were exempted but tourist visas remained suspended.

ANI |

POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 9:41 PM IST

With the aim of stimulating the economy as daily cases of Covid-19 in the country have declined, the central government plans to resume the issuance of tourist visas very soon, an official from the Ministry of the Interior confirmed on Wednesday (MHA ).

A senior MHA official confirmed that things have been formalized and a meeting has been called at the Home Office which will be chaired by the Home Secretary on Thursday to discuss plans to resume tourist visas.

The official said it will be done in a phased manner and, depending on the feasibility, it will be open to everyone. The government is likely to allow only those vaccinated to apply for tourist visas.

Tourist visas have been suspended since March 2020, from the day the first confinement was announced. Later, several categories of visas like business, employment and others were exempted but tourist visas remained suspended.

Many Gulf countries have resumed tourist visas. Before the suspension of tourist visas, around 7-8 lakh tourists came to India every month.

India recorded 27,176 new cases of Covid-19 and 284 deaths in the past 24 hours on Wednesday. Active cases have dropped to 3.51 lakh. Less than 50,000 daily cases have been reported for 80 consecutive days now.

Covid-19 has severely affected the tourism industry, leading to job losses and hotel and restaurant closures.

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