New rules for traveling to Iran to take effect Saturday

July 31, 2020 - 18:37

TEHRAN – New regulations and instructions for traveling to Iran will take effect tomorrow as the country is fighting back against the global spread of the coronavirus, ISNA reported on Friday.

Issuing visas on arrival for tourists has been suspended until further notice.

A health certificate with a negative coronavirus PCR test result, issued at most 96 hours before arrival, is required for travelers.

Iranian citizens without a negative coronavirus PCR test result are subject to medical screening and quarantine for 14 days at their own expense, while non-Iranian nationalities without the certificate are not allowed to enter the country.

All passengers are subject to the medical screening on arrival, and if they are suspected of having the disease, non-Iranian nationalities will be quarantined at a place specified by the Health Ministry at their own expense and Iranian citizens will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Iran has suffered an average 15.8 percent fall in foreign arrivals during the first three months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 on international tourism.

The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill, and tourism has been the worst affected of all major economic sectors.

Back in March, the UN specialized agency for tourism announced that it expected international tourist arrivals would be down by 20 percent to 30 percent in 2020 when compared with 2019 figures.

Iranian deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri has said that international tourism could be recovered soon because it is mostly relying on potential travelers and pilgrims from the neighboring countries.

“Given the policies of the country’s tourism industry over the past two years to focus on tourism markets in the neighboring countries, the possibility of recovering and reviving international tourism in the shortest possible time is predictable,” Teymouri told the Tehran Times in May.

Iran expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, it aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).

ABU/MG

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