Indians waiting to visit the US, start packing your bags this November. The United States announced that foreign travellers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 including Indian travellers to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from foreign nationals travelling internationally to the country.
“The US’ new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travellers to the United States will begin on Nov 8. This announcement and date apply to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent,” tweeted White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz in announcing the news.
What does it mean for Indian tourists?
The news comes at a time which allows everyone to plan their trips, especially considering that the US is opening its doors at the brink of vacation season for Indians.
Team VoI talked to a few prominent travel agencies managing tours internationally for a better insight on India’s stake.
Anshul Shah, Managing Partner at All 4 Seasons Holidays says, “Tourists are one thing but there a lot of people who have been meaning to meet their families, have medical emergencies, social functions, family with children over there who need support socially. This news is of great relief.”
“In Diwali, there were a lot of limited options but with US opening up will create a lot of opportunities for destinations like Orlando to Las Vegas and places, people have been wanting to explore. For honeymooners will also benefit from this new decision. We had been already booking tickets because there was always anticipation about the US opening up, so we had already booked tickets for people. This is a plus for the Americans and people from other nations to take advantage of to fasten up their border opening process as people always look upon the US to do something and now hopefully the whole world will open up,” he added.
Vivek Shukla, Director of Vibrant Holidays says, ” There were some people who have been waiting for last two years ever since the pandemic to meet their families. And after the second wave, there was a complete restriction by US government that they were not at all allowing people from the especially south-east region, so this new decision will significantly increase the number of people.”
Alap Modi, Director at Modi Travels says, “The requirements for non-essential travel are a bit strict but for essential travel in which people traveling for business, family, birth or death will be allowed first and people traveling under normal clause will be allowed to travel, the procedure will remain same till January 2022.
He also said on the issue of US tourism season that when people usually travel a lot from April to August, people seem to be able to enjoy a leisurely trip to the US next year. Good effect will be treated.
“It all still depends on when flights are ready to fly, coz we are ready n happy to work, but it depends on aviation department. If America is ready then we are ready,” says Nidhi Verma, Operational Head, GetDestination.
What are the relaxed restrictions?
The relaxed restrictions which will be implemented from November 8 needs passengers to be tested within three days before travel and airlines will be required to put in place a contact tracing system.
After months of restrictions that led to economical and personal suffering, the U.S. borders is opening its borders after March 2020 for most of the world including India, Mexico, Canada, European Union, Britain, China and Brazil.
The easement will be carried out in two phases:
Initially, vaccination will be required for “non-essential” travel while unvaccinated travellers will be allowed for ‘essential’ travel.
From early January 2022, all the visitors will be required to be fully vaccinated.