The US will initiate travel restrictions beginning May 4th, due to the surging COVID-19 case load in India.
On Friday, the White House announced that they will begin restricting travel from India starting May 4th, citing the countries increasingly dire situation with COVID-19.
Press secretary Jen Psaki stated that President Biden and his administration came to the decision after receiving advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new policy will mean that non-U.S. citizens who have been in India within the last 14 days are not eligible to travel to the United States.
The restriction comes after the President initiated a similar ban on non-US citizens coming into the country who were recently in South Africa.
Earlier this week, Biden announced that the administration will begin supplying India with raw materials for vaccine creation, diagnostic testing kits, ventilators and personal protective gear.
India has been plagued by a deadly second wave of the pandemic recently, with millions of its citizens infected, causing extreme stress to its healthcare system. Clinics have reported a severe lack of hospital beds, medicine, protective equipment and oxygen.
The country has seen over 17.9 million cases and more than 200,000 deaths, but experts say that those numbers are likely much higher. Daily new cases of COVID-19 have been over 300,000 a day, breaking previous records for daily infections.
Less than 10% of the country’s population has been vaccinated and many have criticized the government’s inoculation efforts.
During a White House briefing on the pandemic, the COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said that the US was in close contact with foreign counterparts and that they will be continually monitoring the situation, following the CDC’s science-based guidance on travel and other matters.