To boost its tourism, Iran will start issuing visas to foreign tourists from next month. After suspending the said services for almost 19 months due to the coronavirus crisis, the country has now announced that it will soon start issuing the visas.

Tourism Minister Izzatullah Zarghami said issuance of tourist visas by land and air borders would resume from 23 October.

Iran had banned the entry of foreign nationals since March last year, weeks after the first cases of coronavirus infection were detected in the country. The decision to resume visa services was taken during the recent meeting of Iran's Anti-Coronavirus Task Force, which was also attended by Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi.

Committee further added, "This regulation will not include direct and indirect travel from or to high-risk countries declared by the World Health Organisation."

Iran is battling the deadliest outbreak of coronavirus in the Middle East and has recorded more than 5.5 million cases of infection according to the latest official figures. However, officials admit that the numbers have been largely underestimated.

After recording a peak in August, the country's caseload has now started to decline, which according to officials was a 'fifth wave' driven by the delta version of coronavirus, says reports.

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