Amid the recent dip in Covid-19 cases in India, the United States eased travel restrictions for the country, lowering it from the highest Level 4, which means no travel, to Level 3. “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice and the Department of State has issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory advising against all travel to India,” the State Department said.
1) Level 3 encourages US citizens to reconsider travel to the country due to serious risks of safety and security.
2) The improvement of the travel advisory by the State Department comes in an acknowledgement of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the region.
3) US citizens who must travel to India are strongly urged to get fully vaccinated before travel and continue to take personal health safety measures to protect themselves, including practising social or physical distancing, cleaning hands with soap/hand sanitiser, wearing masks, and avoiding crowded areas with poor ventilation.
4) The CDC strongly recommends that U.S. citizens get flu shots to better protect themselves from a major flu outbreak and reduce the need to access the local health system at this time. Finally, U.S. citizens should continue to obey measures introduced by Indian officials designed to mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks in their areas.
5) The State Department asked its citizens not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest.
6) It further added that US citizens should avoid travelling within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border due to the potential for armed conflict.
7) The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as US government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these areas.
8) Earlier on May 5, the CDC had placed India in the Level 4 category when the country was battling a severe second wave of coronavirus.
9) Besides the US, some other countries that have relaxed travel bans on India are Canada, Germany, Russia, Egypt, South Korea, Turkey, Switzerland, South Africa, Maldives, Mauritius
10) The CDC has also eased travel recommendations on Pakistan
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