The Biden administration will impose new travel restrictions on India, amid a wave of coronavirus cases and deaths. Nearly half the world’s population is now banned from entering the US.
“On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Friday. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high Covid-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the [sic] India.”
The policy will take effect on Tuesday, and will not affect US citizens or lawful residents traveling from India.
Biden’s new travel ban excludes more than 1.3 billion people from coming to the US. With bans already in place regarding travelers from China, the European Schengen countries, Britain, Ireland, Iran, Brazil and South Africa, nearly half of the world’s 7.6 billion people are now forbidden from entering the US.
India has experienced a surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks, and a sharp spike in deaths. After weeks of recording hundreds of thousands of cases per day, a record 386,452 new Covid-19 infections were reported on Friday, bringing the total number of cases seen in the country above 19 million. 211,000 people have died of coronavirus-related causes in India since the pandemic began.