(CNN) – The Biden government has confirmed that the United States will restrict travel from India starting Tuesday in response to the cases and variants of coronavirus observed in the country.
“On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government will immediately restrict travel from India,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, in a statement Friday. “The guideline is being implemented in view of the extraordinarily high number of COVID-19 cases and several variants circulating in India. The policy will come into effect on Tuesday 4th May. “
The government will issue a 212 (f) order restricting entry into the United States of foreign nationals who have been in India in the past 14 days, a source familiar with the move said. The airlines have been informed of the decision, a source said.
The new policy will take effect Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. ET.
The policy does not apply to US citizens, lawful permanent residents, or any other person with exceptions. As with all international travelers, people who meet these criteria and are traveling from India must test negative before leaving the country, quarantine if they have not been vaccinated, and test negative again when re-entering the US from India. The restrictions also do not apply to humanitarian workers.
The White House informed the convention bureaus on Friday about the move.
Before Vice President Kamala Harris boarded Air Force Two on a tarmac in Kentucky on Friday afternoon, she discussed the travel restrictions.
Harris is the first vice president for Black and South Asia. The family members still live in Delhi, India. When asked what her sense of it is for people with loved ones in India who hear of restrictions and have concerns, she said, “People are concerned. No question. People are concerned. “
“As I said earlier, it is important to note that, as the United States, we have a responsibility, particularly regarding the people we have worked with over the years, to become involved when people are at a time of need “Harris continued.” And as for the people of India, we have had decades of relationships with India, with the Indians, especially on public health issues, for decades.
She added that the United States would send a plane with supplies, including oxygen, on Friday evening “with the expectation that it will bring some degree of relief”.
India recorded 386,452 COVID-19 cases on Friday, another record daily increase in cases. This emerges from a CNN balance sheet by the Indian Ministry of Health.
The Friday count marks the ninth straight day the country has added more than 300,000 cases per day, bringing the total to more than 18.7 million. The country also reported 3,498 deaths, bringing the death toll to 208,330.
One day before the announcement of the impending US travel restrictions for India, the Indian airline Air India announced that it would reintroduce the almost pandemic frequency of direct flights to the USA in the first half of May. A number of countries – including the UK, France, Italy and Canada – have put in place travel restrictions ranging from quarantines to outright bans on travel from India.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that India accounted for 38% of the world’s coronavirus cases recorded in the week leading up to April 25.
More than 152 million doses of vaccine had been administered by Thursday evening. More than 26.7 million people have received their second dose, which is roughly 2% of India’s 1.3 billion vaccinated population, according to a Health Department press release on Thursday.
India started its vaccination campaign on January 16 and will offer vaccinations for all over 18s on Saturday. However, some states have indicated that they are not ready for this vaccination to be introduced. The Mumbai city council also announced the suspension of all COVID-19 vaccinations across the city on Thursday evening due to a shortage.
The Indian government invoked special provisions on Friday and granted the armed forces emergency financial powers to combat the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, the country’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter.
Earlier this week, Biden promised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the United States would “provide a range of emergency aid, including oxygen supplies, vaccine supplies and therapeutics”.
And the White House said Wednesday it was delivering more than $ 100 million worth of supplies in the coming days to help India urgently. U.S. shipments of personal protective equipment, oxygen, coronavirus test kits and masks have been sent into the country.
The President and White House have also announced that they will ship doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries, including India, in the coming months after passing a security clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
This story has been updated with additional reports