US eases Covid travel advisory for India, Pakistan

Reuters Washington | Updated on July 21, 2021

White House is holding a new round of high-level meetings this week

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 on Tuesday.

The advisory for Pakistan was similarly eased, it said. The Covid-19 advisories were previously the highest Level 4, “Do not travel.”

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.

US Covid-19 cases rising again, doubling over three weeks

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.

Exemption for some categories

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 told Reuters, but has given no indication it plans to quickly lift them.

Biden’s travel ban on India beggars belief

“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.

Nearly all travellers to the US by air must show proof of a negative coronavirus test or recovery from Covid-19.

Published on July 21, 2021

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