From October 15, foreign tourists will be able to come back to India, more than a year after the country closed its borders.

India is considering the complete reopening of its borders to all travellers, with business travellers as well as diplomats already able to come back.

The announcement was made by the government on 7 October. The opening will start officially on October 15, putting an end to restrictions in place since March 2020.

The government had planned an earlier opening this year, however, it was forced to delay the reopening many times due to a spike in cases earlier this year. The number of cases has since declined sharply and the government, under pressure from an industry that is an important pillar of the economy, decided to reverse its policy.

Tourist visas will be granted for foreigners arriving on charter flights from October 15. Travellers will then be able to come to the country on scheduled commercial flights from November 15, the home ministry said in a statement.

It stressed that all Covid-19 protocols “should be adhered to by foreign tourists, carriers bringing them into India and all other stakeholders at landing stations”.

Tourism is an important sector for Asia’s third-largest economy, with the country seeing 10.93 million tourist arrivals in 2019, according to government figures.

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