US eases travel advisory for India and issues 'Do Not Travel' advisory to UK due to increasing Covid cases
WASHINGTON July 20: The United States has improved the travel advisory for India, lowering it from the highest Level 4, which means no travel, to Level 3, which urges citizens to reconsider travel. It also eased travel recommendations on Pakistan from Level 4 to Level 3. The improvement of the travel advisories for India and Pakistan by the State Department on Monday comes in an acknowledgement of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the region. The UK government reviews the traffic-light system every three weeks. Therefore, if situation improves then UK may lower it from the highest red list to amber in the next review scheduled to take place first week of August. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in US 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 State Department said on Monday. "Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorised vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC''s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers," it said. The latest travel advisory replaces the one issued on May 5 that had placed India in the Level 4 category. When the last month's advisory was issued, India was struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported. Hospitals were reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. While the CDC issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for Pakistan due to COVID-19, indicating a moderate level of the pandemic, the State Department maintained Level 3 risk for US citizens travelling to the country due to terrorism. "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," the State Department said. Meanwhile, the US State Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both issued on Monday their highest warnings against travel to the United Kingdom because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in that country. Each raised the UK to "Level Four," telling Americans they should avoid travel there. "If you must travel to the United Kingdom, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel," the CDC said in an advisory, while the State Department said: "Do not travel to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19." In May, the US government had lowered the UK to a "Level 3" advisory rating. COVID-19 cases are rising by more than 50,000 a day in the UK and hundreds of thousands of Britons are being asked to self-isolate for 10 days. The United States since March 2020 has barred nearly all non-US citizens who have recently been in the UK from the United States. Britain allows American visits but requires a 10-day quarantine on arrival and two COVID-19 tests. In June, the Biden administration said it was forming expert working groups with Britain, Canada, Mexico and the European Union to determine how best to restart travel safely after more than a year of restrictions. US and airline officials do not expect the restrictions on UK travelers to be lifted until August at the earliest - and warn it could be pushed back further. Airlines and others have pressed the administration to lift the restrictions that bar most non-US citizens who have been in Britain, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil within the past 14 days from the United States.