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 May 4, 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 U.S. As part of existing restrictions on international passengers, anyone arriving in the U.S. would still be subject to COVID-19 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 the India.”