Tips & News

India Is Now Welcoming Foreign Tourists. Are You Ready to Revisit the Taj Mahal?

India is reopening in a big way, now allowing foreign visitors on chartered flights, and on commercial airlines next month.

india reopening

Taj Mahal. Photo by Sam Chougule/Getty Images/Canva

By Meena Thiruvengadam

Oct 15, 2021

YOU MAY BE ABLE TO make that winter visit to see the majesty of the Taj Mahal, the tented camps of the Himalayas or the vibrant beauty of Jaipur this year after all. India, once an epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, is jumping on the reopening train and is now once again welcoming foreign tourists. Check out our list of the top resorts in India for travel planning inspiration.

The government of India has reopened visa applications, which had been suspended for 18 months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Foreign visitors to India including tourists are now allowed in on chartered flights, and passengers traveling on commercial airlines will be allowed entry after November 15.

Travelers are required to adhere to all local Covid-19 prevention protocols, according to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

India had been slowly reopening visa processing for business, diplomatic, and student travel in recent months as Covid cases and deaths have been on the decline across the country. Those numbers have been declining since summer as vaccinations have been increasing.

India has administered more than 900 million vaccine doses and nearly 700 million have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest available data from the World Health Organization. India has reported nearly 34,000,000 cases of Covid-19 and nearly 450,000 deaths related to Covid-19, according to the WHO.

The reopening in India already applies to visa applications for business, diplomatic, and student travelers, CNN reported. Leisure travelers must obtain a tourist visa for travel to India.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control currently assigns a moderate Level 2 risk rating for travel to India. It recommends only vaccinated travelers make the journey to India and continues to recommend unvaccinated U.S. travelers refrain from leisure travel.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has eased travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers from India. Since October 11, travelers from India no longer have to self-isolate or take a Covid test upon arrival in the U.K., the BBC reports. About 26% of India’s population has been fully vaccinated, it said.

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