The Indian government allowed fully vaccinated foreign tourists from 99 countries to enter the country from Monday without having to quarantine. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, India had stopped issuing tourist visas in March 2020, but had resumed the service from October 15 only for passengers arriving on charter planes.

In a revised set of guidelines issued by Union health ministry, the government has asked fully vaccinated foreign tourists to self-monitor their health for 14 days after arriving in India. They will also have to upload a Covid-19 negative test result taken within 72 hours of departure and submit a self-declaration form.

“On the basis of reciprocity, the travelers from all such countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians are allowed certain relaxations on arrival (Category A Countries),” the release said.

Credit: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India has signed agreements for mutual recognition of nationally or World Health Organization-recognised Covid-19 vaccines with several countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Nepal.

Countries with which India does not have a reciprocal arrangement on vaccines, but exempt fully-inoculated Indians from restrictions will also not need to quarantine, according to guidelines issued in October.

Both these group of countries fall under the Category A in the health ministry’s guidelines.

Meanwhile, according to the health ministry guidelines, travelers who have not been vaccinated or received partial inoculation will have to provide their sample for a post-arrival Covid-19 test “at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport”. These travelers would need to home quarantine for seven days, and then take a re-test on the eighth day of arrival in India.

If their test result is negative, these travelers would need to further self-monitor of their health for the next seven days.

India reported 10,229 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the overall tally of infections to 3,44,47,536 since the pandemic began in January last year. The number of new cases was 9.24% lower than Sunday’s count of 11,271.

The country’s toll rose by 125 to 4,63,655. The active caseload stood at 1,34,096 – the lowest in nearly 17 months, the health ministry said. As many as 3,38,49,785 have recovered from the disease so far.