Iran eases COVID-related restrictions on intl. travelers

May 23, 2022 - 19:16

TEHRAN – Iran’s National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control on Sunday issued a new set of rules for incoming international travelers, easing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic as the Islamic Republic records low rates of infection for weeks.

“According to the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, international travelers to Iran should present either COVID-19 vaccination proof or a negative PCR test,” Mehr quoted the deputy tourism minister as saying on Sunday.

Ali-Asghar Shalbafian said that previously the incoming international travelers were required to present both COVID-19 vaccination proof and a negative PCR test.

Last November, Iran resumed the issuance of tourist visas and the flow of foreign tourists from land and air borders following 19 months of suspension.

However, months of the steep recession took its toll on their incomes; many travel insiders, hoteliers, and tour operators faced big dilemmas such as bankruptcy, unemployment, debts, and the prospects of not being competitive on the international level.

Furthermore, the pandemic has taken a huge toll on the civil aviation sector. For instance, airlines reportedly lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of flight cancellations during the high seasons.

Tourism authorities say Iran has the potential to experience a tourism boom after coronavirus is contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.

Iran is potentially a booming destination for travelers seeking cultural attractions, breathtaking sceneries, and numerous UNESCO-registered sites. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

AFM

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