Earlier today, April 30, 2021, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that the United States will restrict travel from India starting on Tuesday, May 4, in response to the surge of coronavirus cases and variants being observed in the country. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India,” said Psaki. Under the Presidential Proclamation, the policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4, at 12:01 a.m. ET. The Biden administration will issue a 212(f) order restricting entry into the United States for foreign nationals who have been in India within the previous 14 days, according to media reports. As with other COVID-related bans, the restrictions will not apply to US citizens, permanent residents, or other individuals with exemptions (e.g., individuals with spouses or children who are US citizens). Humanitarian exemptions to the ban also will be available.
The policy was announced as India reports record numbers of infections and fatalities, with the official COVID death toll surpassing 200,000 earlier this week. The country has reported an average of about 357,000 infections per day over the past week.