A new travel restriction has been imposed by President Joe Biden on Friday. The said restriction is on India in light of the COVID-19 epidemic, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States.
Biden’s new restriction will take effect on Tuesday, May 4 at 12:01 am ET (0401 GMT), are on the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and were imposed because “the magnitude and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic” in India was “surging,” the White House said.
Reuters reported that the proclamation implementing the restrictions was already signed by Biden on Friday.
The proclamation said India “accounts for over one-third of new global cases” and added that “proactive measures are required to protect the nation’s public health from travelers entering the United States” from India.
In January, Biden issued a similar ban on most non-U.S. citizens entering the country who have recently been in South Africa. He also reimposed an entry ban on nearly all non-U.S. travelers who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe that allow travel across open borders. China and Iran are also both covered by the policy.
The policy means most non-U.S. citizens who have been in one of the stated countries within the last 14 days are not eligible to travel to the United States. Permanent U.S. residents and family members and some other non-U.S. citizens, such as students, are exempted.
Biden previously accused and called Trump a xenophobe after imposing travel moratoriums on non-citizens from China, Europe and other countries deemed Covid hot spots.
Shortly after Trump imposed a travel ban on China last year, Biden came out and labeled him a xenophobe.
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
And also attacked Trump for his “Africa ban” in February 2020.
“Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed,” Biden said in February of 2020.
The policy means most non-U.S. citizens who have been in one of those countries – and now India – within the last 14 days are not eligible to travel to the United States. China and Iran are also both covered by the policy.
The Indian Embassy in Washington did not immediately comment.
Second, only to the United States in total infections, India has reported more than 300,000 new cases daily for nine days in a row, hitting another global record of 386,452 on Friday.
Total deaths have surpassed 200,000 and cases are nearing 19 million – nearly 8 million since February alone – as virulent new strains have combined with “super-spreader” events such as political rallies and religious festivals.
Medical experts say real numbers may be five to 10 times higher than the official tally.
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