US advises citizens not to travel to India amid COVID surge

People queue to enter the departures area at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, Dec. 21, 2020. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua/IANS)

In wake of the recent surge in COVID cases, the United States has advised its citizens to avoid travelling to India.

''Travellers should avoid all travel to India. Even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting & spreading variants and should avoid all travel to India. If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel,'' the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement.

The US State Department said on Monday it will increase its "Do Not Travel" guidance to about 80 per cent of countries worldwide, citing "unprecedented risk to travellers" from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide," the department said in a statement.

The US has prevented its citizens from travelling to much of Europe and has barred entry to nearly all non-US citizens who have recently been in Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa as well.

The United Kingdom had also imposed travel curbs on India on Monday citing COVID risk.

India reported 273,810 new infections, its highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic. India has now reported more than 15 million infections, second only to the United States.

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