20 Jul 2021: US eases travel advisory for India as COVID-19 cases decline
As India's COVID-19 outbreak subsides, the United States has eased the travel advisory for its citizens traveling to India. The travel recommendations now stand relaxed from Level 4 (no travel) to Level 3, which urges citizens to reconsider travel. The US government had placed India in the Level 4 category on May 5, when the latter was reeling under the second wave.
Advisory: US move indicates India's improving COVID-19 situation
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, the US State Department said on Monday. The improvement of the travel advisory can be seen as an acknowledgment of the COVID-19 situation in India, which has become better since May
India: 'Risk of contracting COVID-19 lower if you are vaccinated'
"Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated... Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations," the State Department said. Separately, the CDC website urged only vaccinated citizens to travel to India. Advising un-vaccinated travelers to avoid nonessential travel to India, the website says they are at risk of contracting COVID-19 variants.
Fact: Canada to allow fully vaccinated travelers from September
Meanwhile, Canada said that it will allow fully-vaccinated travelers with recognized jabs from all countries from September. However, this will be subject to the overall pandemic situation. Notably, Canada had suspended all flights from India in April and has now extended it till August 21.
Pakistan: Travel advisory for Pakistan also improved
Besides India, the travel advisory for Pakistan was also eased on Monday from Level 4 to Level 3. In Pakistan's case, the CDC issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for Pakistan due to COVID-19, indicating a moderate level of the pandemic. However, the State Department maintained Level 3 risk for US citizens travelling to the country due to terrorism.
Fact: Reconsider Pakistan travel due to COVID-19, terrorism: State Department
On Pakistan, the US State Department said, "Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and sectarian violence. Exercise increased caution in Pakistan due to COVID-19. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory."
Third wave: As infections decline, third wave expected to hit
While India's COVID-19 cases are declining, the Centre and health experts have repeatedly asked citizens to practice caution as health experts believe the third wave of infections is looming large over the country. Government experts had also said that the next 125 crucial days are critical to minimize the effect of the infection. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) also expressed similar concerns last week.
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