The Biden administration is set to enact a travel ban on any non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents coming to the country from India as multiple coronavirus variants have driven India’s COVID-19 outbreak to troubling new heights. The policy will take effect starting on Tuesday, the White House said.

India had already been under a Level 4 – Do Not Travel advisory from the State Department, which issued or updated scores of travel advisories related to the continued spread of the coronavirus last week. The new ban will take the precaution to a new level.

The policy will not apply to U.S. citizens, a Biden administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Lawful permanent residents and other people with exemptions would also be allowed to travel from India to the United States.

As part of existing restrictions on international passengers, anyone arriving in the U.S. would still be subject to coronavirus testing measures and must enter quarantine if they have not been vaccinated.

The travel ban is being imposed on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

In a statement issued Friday, Psaki said, “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating” in India.

Like many countries, India dealt with an initial wave of the coronavirus in 2020. But it’s now enduring a tsunami of new cases, forcing a shortage of key resources, from hospital space to oxygen tanks.

Source: npr.org

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