US eases Covid-19 travel restrictions for India, Pakistan
US president Joe Biden (Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
THE United States state department has eased its Covid-19-related travel advisory to India to “Level 3 – Reconsider Travel”. Similarly, it also lowered travel advisory for Pakistan. Previously, the Covid-19-related advisories were at the highest Level 4 that advises against travelling.
The department lowered the advisories in a statement issued on Tuesday (20).
India’s daily coronavirus cases have fallen to four-month lows after a devastating second wave that left its health infrastructure in a shambles. Experts have warned the authorities against swift reopening of cities and expressed concern over overcrowding against a possible third wave.
ALSO READ: India reports highest monthly Covid deaths after data correction
The USA’s decision does not affect travel restrictions imposed in May that stopped nearly all non-US citizens from entering the country who have been in India within the last fortnight.
India orders largest procurement of Covid-19 vaccines
Similar travel restrictions are also in place for countries like South Africa, Brazil, Iran, China, Ireland, the UK and 26 nations in Europe that allow travel across open borders, Reuters reported.
Permanent American residents and family members and other non-US citizens, like students, are exempted.
The Joe Biden administration in the US is holding a fresh round of high-level meetings this week about restrictions on travel, sources told Reuters, but has not given any indication of lifting them quickly.
“Any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. We take this incredibly seriously,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday (18).
Nearly all people travelling to the US by air must produce evidence of a negative coronavirus test or recovery from Covid-19.