India set to reopen borders to tourists

India set to reopen borders to tourists

India has allowed regular international commercial flights to resume flying to the country for the first time in over two years, the country's Ministry of Tourism announced on Sunday. International commercial passenger flights could begin again on March 27, according to the ministry, after the country initially suspended them on March 23, 2020.

Shri Rajeev Mehra, the president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, said in the statement the flight options would increase tourist traffic to India. The resumption of commercial flights comes months after India issued tourist visas to foreigners who arrived on a charter flight, the ministry noted.

All travelers to India must show either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their trip, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Travelers must also complete a self-declaration form online before traveling. India has seen a dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases since January, Reuters reported, and an even more dramatic drop since the spring of 2021 when the delta variant first emerged there.

The country has vaccinated just over 60.6% of its population, according to Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus Resource Center. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered India to a "Level 1" travel warning, showing a "low" level of COVID-19 transmission in the country. The agency still recommends travelers "Make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to India."

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