During the summer, the Indian government decided to remove the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) from 29 islands in the Andamans Islands for foreigners, in what is seen as a major move to boost tourism in the Andamans.
Now yachts planning a trip to the Andamans will no longer require a RAP to visit these islands in the Union Territory:
Havelock, North Andaman, Smith Island, East Island, Curfew Island, Tillang Chong Island, Katchal, Nancowry, Ayes Island, Middle Andaman, Interview Island, Teressa, North Passage, Baratang, South Andaman, Neil Island, Flat Bay, North Sentinel Island, Little Andaman, Chowra, Great Nicobar, Stewart Island, Kamorta, Pulomilo, Strait Island, Long Island, Little Nicobar, Narcondam Island and Land Fall Island.
The restriction has been lifted until December 31, 2022.
Foreigners may now stay in the Andamans as long as their visas permit and visiting yachts can stay for much longer than 30 days if they wish.
Separate approvals of the competent authority would continue to be required for visiting Reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal reserves, as is the case at present.
It is unlikely however, that the lifting of the RAP will have any effect on the current restrictions applied to the Andaman Nicobar Islands.
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