US Delta surge prolongs India, UK travellers' wait for entry. All you need to know

By | Written by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jul 31, 2021 03:46 PM IST

In April, US President Joe Biden issued a fresh proclamation suspending entry of nonimmigrants who were present in India during the 14‑day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

As the world reported a 21% rise in deaths related to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases over the past week, the US travel restrictions on India, the UK, EU member states, and other countries severely impacted by the pandemic are not going to ease anytime soon. Not only has the United States indicated to maintain its existing entry restrictions due to a surge in Delta variant cases, but it also issued new advisories this week for some popular destinations in the world.

Tourists from India and other countries facing restrictions may have to wait a bit longer than earlier expected to enter the United States.(AP)
Tourists from India and other countries facing restrictions may have to wait a bit longer than earlier expected to enter the United States.(AP)

The US state department asked citizens to not travel to Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, and the Central African Republic after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its risk assessment level for these countries to ‘Level 4’, the highest on travel alert. The department has changed the advisory for Israel, The West Bank and Gaza to ‘Reconsider Travel’.

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Entry restrictions

In April, US President Joe Biden issued a proclamation suspending entry of nonimmigrants who were present in India during the 14‑day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States as the country was witnessing a deadly second Covid wave driven by the Delta variant.

Similar proclamations have been issued over time to suspend entry of nonimmigrants travelling from China, Iran, the UK, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and EU member states.

Also Read | These countries have extended travel ban on India

On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the US will maintain existing travel restrictions “at this point” due to the Delta variant spread around the world.

While the Biden administration has been under pressure from the travel industry to lift restrictions, Psaki said that the travel policies are going to be guided by the CDC and health experts.

"It would be actually surprising and odd if our health and medical experts were not having ... an active discussion about how to ... best protect the American people," she added.

The surge in Delta cases threatening to derail the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response prompted the CDC to change the mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. Biden said “in all probability” new restrictions would be imposed in the US to contain the infections. These latest developments mean tourists from India and other countries facing restrictions may have to wait a bit longer than earlier expected to enter the United States.

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