US eases travel advisory for India as Covid situation improves

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Washington:The US eased its travel advisory for India on Monday, lowering it to Level 2: Moderate.

The new travel advisory of Level 2 which is considered as safe came in the wake of the significant improvement in Covid situation in India.

Under the Travel Advisory system every country is assigned a color-coded risk rating from one to four, defined as:
Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk.
Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. 
Level 3 – Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. 
Level 4 – Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. 

Early this year, the US had put India in Level 4, asking its citizens not to travel to India, which at that point of time was experiencing an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for India due to COVID-19, indicating a moderate level of COVID-19 in the country.

According to CDC's website, the guidelines to travel to India include making sure one is fully vaccinated, wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others. It also asks unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to avoid nonessential travel to India.

"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, the State Department said.

At the same time, the State Department urged Americans not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest.

They have also been advised not to travel within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border due to the potential for armed conflict.

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