India would be granting fresh tourist visas from 15 October to foreign tourists arriving in charter flights, said the Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement on Thursday. This signals a relaxation in travel restrictions for foreigners into the country.
However, foreign tourists travelling by flights other than chartered aircraft will be allowed from 15 November only.
All visas to foreign travellers were suspended since last year to restrict the spread of Covid-19, along with several other restrictions on international travel. Foreigners, however, were later allowed to enter and stay in India with other kinds of visas except for tourist visas.
Covid-19 infections have decreased with an increased vaccination rate across the country in the last few months. Based on this, the government has started relaxing travel restrictions in the domestic sector. Domestic airlines, from last month, can take 85 per cent of their capacity before Covid. This was only 72.5 per cent in August.
But there are limited international flights to and from India since India has bilateral air bubble agreements with only 28 countries.