The United States announced that it plans to ease travel restrictions starting in November for international tourists including India. Only fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed in the United States to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from foreign nationals travelling internationally to the country.
What does it mean for Indian tourists?
The travel industry of India has reopened slightly yet steadily through short trips to Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and closer locations. However, UK still has closed doors for India as it still does not recognise Indian made vaccines including Covishield. It was manufactured in Pune that was later sent to the UK as well. This upliftment of the ban can open doors for Indians to other European countries.
Anshul Sah, Partner at Four Seasons, says, “It will impact the Indian tourism industry in a very positive manner. The Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) type of tourism traffic has a lot of backlog as people needed to serve their quarantine period in other countries before being able to travel to the US, but it will be easier now.”
Eased restrictions do not mean any restrictions
The travellers need to procure proof of vaccination before boarding a US-bound airline. Pre-departure testing remains a part of the restrictions for foreigners travelling to the US. Foreign tourists will require a test three days prior to departure with a negative result. The Americans who are unvaccinated and travelling to the US will have to go through stricter testing requirements and will also be needed to get tested within one day of departure with another test required upon arrival.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be issuing a tracing order that would require airlines to collect and keep the information from people travelling to the US for 30 days.
When was the US travel ban first imposed?
US travel bans were first imposed in January 2020 when the Trump administration put travel restrictions on people travelling from China. However, the restrictions failed to prevent the virus from reaching the United States, and other countries were also added to the list after the health officials pressured the White House.
The incumbent Biden government maintained the bans on nonessential travel even after the vaccination rates rose, citing the emergence of the Delta variant.
The American officials met with the representatives from various countries and discussed the reopening situation since the incumbent government announced at the beginning of Biden’s first trip in June.