Drop mandatory RT-PCR tests for vaccinated visitors, states told

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New Delhi:The Union Ministry of Tourism has urged all state governments to drop the provision of mandatory RT-PCR tests for visitors who have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

In a letter to all states, the ministry said the matter was discussed at a virtual meeting with all state and union territory Tourism department principal secretaries and the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) under the chairpersonship of the Union tourism secretary on August 5.

Currently, only some states like Maharashtra and Sikkim allow entry to fully vaccinated travellers without negative RT-PCR reports.

States such as West Bengal (for travellers from Mumbai, Pune and Chennai), Karnataka, Goa and Chhattisgarh still ask for negative RT-PCR reports, irrespective of double vaccination status.

The ministry said that the removal of the provision would help build confidence among travellers and boost tourism.

Sources indicate that the ministry took this step after various tourism stakeholders complained that such provisions seriously affected their businesses.  

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