US eases India Covid alert level; Canada to reopen for fully vaccinated from September 7

NEW DELHI: The United States has lowered its travel advisory for India for its citizens from the highest level 4 “do not travel” to level 3 “reconsider travel” with the Covid-19 situation easing significantly. It remains to be seen when the US removes or eases restrictions on travel from India.
Canada, which has extended suspension of flights from India by a month till August 21, will open to fully vaccinated with recognised jabs from all countries on September 7 for non-essential travel subject to the overall pandemic situation.
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The US department of state revised the travel advisory for India on Monday (July 19) and it now says: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for India due to Covid-19, indicating a high level of Covid-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting Covid-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorised vaccine … ”
The CDC website says: “Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to India. Unvaccinated travellers should avoid nonessential travel to India. Because of the current situation in India, all travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants.”
The US has four travel advisory levels — 4: Do not travel. 3: Reconsider travel. 2: Exercise increased caution. 1: Exercise normal precautions.
The US had put India on level 4 in April-end when the devastating second wave was peaking here, advising against all travel to India.

“Level 4 travel advisory is the highest level issued by the Department of State and advises US citizens not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so due to the current health situation in country,” the Level 4 warning for India had said.
Meanwhile, Canada which had suspended all commercial and private passenger flights from India on April 23, 2021, has now extended the same by a month till August 21, 2021. But the country may soon open for fully vaccinated (with recognised jabs) in early September.
“As of September 7, fully-vaccinated people from any country can come into Canada for non-essential travel. As a first step, fully-vaccinated Americans can do the same starting August 9. At every step, the safety of Canadians will continue to be our top priority,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Tuesday morning (India time).

This reopening, however, depends on the pandemic situation. The Canadian government website says: “On September 7, 2021, provided that Canada’s Covid-19 epidemiology remains favourable, the government intends to open Canada’s borders for discretionary travel by travellers from any country who have been fully vaccinated with government of Canada-accepted vaccines at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.”
“From August 9, 2021, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of US, currently residing in the US, will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel. Entry to Canada will continue to be prohibited for US travellers who are not fully vaccinated and for all other foreign nationals, unless they already meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act,” it adds.
For air travel, passengers continue to have to wear a mask in Canadian airports and on board flights to, from and within Canada, with few exceptions, and regardless of their vaccination status.

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