With the number of coronavirus cases in India on an upsurge, many countries are drawing the line when it comes to travel from here. On Monday, the United Kingdom put India on its travel “red list” effective Friday. Shortly after that, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out an advisory saying “Travelers should avoid all travel to India”.
That’s not all, even Hong Kong activated an “emergency circuit breaker” and banned passenger flights from India for 14 days starting April 20. New Zealand also joined other countries and suspended the entry of travellers from India earlier this month.
Why are countries restricting travel to and from India?
The UK took the decision to put India on the travel “red-list” as a result of detecting 103 cases of a Covid variant first identified in India. Hong Kong on Sunday imposed a two-week flight ban from India citing a similar reason pertaining to a mutated strain of coronavirus coming out of India.
In addition to this, jurisdictions are also expressing concern at the sheer number of Covid-19 cases emerging in India. The US CDC’s advisory came alongside it updating India’s Covid-19 assessment from Level 3 to Level 4, which is the highest level on its scale. As of Tuesday at 8 am, India had 20,31,977 active coronavirus cases, an increase of 1,02,648 cases from the previous day.
What does India being in the UK’s red-list mean?
In case if you reach the UK from India before 4 am, Friday, April 23 local time, you must self-isolate for 10 days in the place you are staying and take a Covid-19 test on day two and day eight. However, from 4 am, Friday, April 23, if you have been in India in the previous 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British, Irish or third-country national with residency rights. Even in this case, you will need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel.
What does the US CDC’s decision on travel to India mean?
On its travel notice page, the US CDC noted: “Because of the current situation in India even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India”. “If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travellers should wear a mask, stay six feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands,” it added.
Are travel options from the US and the UK currently available?
As of now, airlines such as Air India, Vistara, United, British Airways operate flights between India, and the US and the UK connecting stations like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, etc with airports such as London, New York – John F Kennedy and Newark.