US lowers Covid-19 travel advisory for India, Pakistan
FILE PHOTO: Travelers wait in line at John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport on May 28, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
THE US state department has lowered its Covid 19-related travel advisory for India to “Level 3 – Reconsider Travel,” the department said in a statement.
The advisory for Pakistan was similarly eased, it said. The Covid-19 advisories were previously the highest Level 4, “Do not travel.”
India reported on Wednesday (21) 42,015 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, while daily deaths jumped to 3,998, their highest since June 12, health ministry data showed.
The country’s tally of infections stands at 31.22 million, with a death toll of 418,480, the data showed.
India’s daily coronavirus cases have fallen to four-month lows after a second wave that crippled the healthcare system. But experts have warned the authorities against swiftly reopening cities and voiced concerns about overcrowding at tourist sites.
The decision does not impact travel restrictions imposed in May that bar nearly all non-US citizens from entering the US who have been in India within the last 14 days.
Similar travel restrictions are in place for South Africa, China, Iran, Brazil, the UK, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe that allow travel across open borders.
Permanent US residents and family members and some other non-US citizens, such as students, are exempted.
The White House is holding a new round of high-level meetings this week about the travel restrictions, sources said, but given no indication it plans to quickly lift them.
“Any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. We take this incredibly seriously,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday (19).
Nearly all travellers to the US by air must show proof of a negative coronavirus test or recovery from Covid-19.