United States will ban travel from India from 4th May 2021 as the Asian country is going through one of the worst waves of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
United States’ President Joe Biden on Friday announced new restrictions for India due to the pandemic, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States.
The ban will apply to those who have physically been in India within the previous 14 days. Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, in a statement reported in the NewYork Times, said:
The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high Covid-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India.
The new restrictions will go into effect from 12:01 am Eastern Time on 4th May 2021. According to the White House, the decision is on the advice of US’ Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and were imposed because ‘the magnitude and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic’ in India was ‘surging’.
The ban will not apply to US citizens or lawful permanent residents. Other exemptions include passengers who are humanitarian workers or those coming to the US under specific visas, like diplomatic ones.
Airlines are allowed to continue operations to and from India. However, from 4th May, non-US citizens will not be allowed to enter if they have been in India in the last 14 days.
What if I am scheduled to fly between the two countries?
If you qualify under any of the above mentioned exemptions, you will still need to carry a negative COVID-19 test result. The test should be taken within 3 days of departing India. As per CDC’s recommendation, non-vaccinated passengers are advised to quarantine and test negative again upon reentering the United States. Vaccinated passengers are not recommended to quarantine.
If you have a ticket and are affected by the ban, wait to see what your airline does. If an airline cancels your flight, you can petition for a refund. However, if you cancel your flight, airlines will usually issue travel vouchers unless you purchased a fully refundable ticket.
The ban will mainly affect United Airlines and Air India which are the only airlines currently offering nonstop flights between India and the US. Other airlines sell connecting itineraries. You may expect longer hold times on calls and some uncertainty with airline schedules as the carriers work to figure out their next moves.
Just another country to ban India travel
United States joins the long list of countries that have banned travel from India. India is currently undergoing its worst wave of COVID-19. Many other countries have already put in place a travel ban for Indian arrivals. In recent weeks, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the UAE, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom are among some of the countries that have introduced travel bans or restrictions in the last few days.
What do you think of US’ travel ban on India? Are you affected by this ban? Let me know in the comments section below.