U.S eases travel restrictions on India; Canada extends ban

The United States has eased travel restrictions imposed on Indian travelers. The country has lowered its travel advisory for India from level 4 to level 3. It is in the wake of reduced number of Covid- 19 cases in India that the U.S eased travel restrictions from” do not travel” level to “reconsider travel” level.

In the mean time, Canada, which had eased the travel restriction, has now reinstated the ban by extending the suspension of flights from India until August 21. According to the reports, the country would open to fully vaccinated with recognized jabs from all countries on September 7 for non-essential travel subject to the overall pandemic situation.

The US department of state revised the travel advisory for India on Monday (July 19) and it now says: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for India due to Covid-19, indicating a high level of Covid-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting Covid-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine … ”

The CDC website says: “Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to India. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to India. Because of the current situation in India, all travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants.”

The US has four travel advisory levels — 4: Do not travel. 3: Reconsider travel. 2: Exercise increased caution. 1: Exercise normal precautions.

The US had imposed level 4 restrictions on Indian travelers in April-end when the second wave Covid-19 cases were spreading dangerously in the country.

“Level 4 travel advisory is the highest level issued by the Department of State and advises US citizens not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so due to the current health situation in country,” the Level 4 warning for India had said.

Meanwhile, Canada which had suspended all commercial and private passenger flights from India on April 23, 2021, has now extended the same by a month till August 21, 2021. But the country may soon open for fully vaccinated (with recognized jabs) in early September, a Times of India report said.

“As of September 7, fully-vaccinated people from any country can come into Canada for non-essential travel. As a first step, fully-vaccinated Americans can do the same starting August 9. At every step, the safety of Canadians will continue to be our top priority,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Tuesday morning (India time).

Update: As of September 7th, fully-vaccinated people from any country can come into Canada for non-essential travel… https://t.co/2As0hAxDh3

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) 1626745892000

The Canadian government website says: “On September 7, 2021, provided that Canada’s Covid-19 epidemiology remains favorable, the government intends to open Canada’s borders for discretionary travel by travelers from any country who have been fully vaccinated with government of Canada-accepted vaccines at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.”

“From August 9, 2021, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of US, currently residing in the US, will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel. Entry to Canada will continue to be prohibited for US travelers who are not fully vaccinated and for all other foreign nationals, unless they already meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act,” it adds.

For air travel, passengers continue to have to wear a mask in Canadian airports and on board flights to, from and within Canada, with few exceptions, and regardless of their vaccination status, the report said.