As soon as the White House announced that fully vaccinated travelers from 33 countries, including India, can visit the United States, many Indians have been planning their visits for some time.
Members of the Prasad family in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, have been planning a visit to the United States for some time. They have been patiently waiting for Covid-related travel restrictions to end so the family’s matriarch, Renu Prasad, 72, can go stay with her eldest son in Florida.
“I used to spend 5-6 months in the U.S. every year with my eldest son, who lives in Tampa, Florida,” he told The American Bazaar. “But Covid completely changed our schedules. I haven’t visited the United States in two years. During that time, many of my friends suggested I take an alternative route to the third country, but I decided to wait, as the trip would have been too hard and expensive.I am totally vaccinated [now] and I want to reconnect with my family. That has been expected for a long time. ”
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Travel agents confirmed that there has already been great interest and inquiries about India’s travel to the US, as many expected the restrictions to be lifted before the end of the year. “There are already many applications for temporary tickets for post-Diwali trips,” said Badrinath Singh, a Delhi-based tour and tour operator.
While many families are looking to reunite with their relatives in the US shortly after the holidays in India are over, some others are not yet ready to travel.
The Bhatnagar family in Mumbai is among those who are willing to wait.
“My sister is in the United States, and now that the U.S. is open again, she has asked us to come as soon as travel restrictions are lifted,” Prachi Bhatnagar said. “However, I am wary of traveling during the rush of the festival. Shortly after Diwali, many Indians can feel free and plan their trip. And not to forget the post-Diwali, the holiday season will also be in full swing. flowering in the U.S., with travelers flying across the country for Thanksgiving.I don’t think the time is right for leisure travel, as it is these festive rushes that can once again cause an increase in Covid. all our travel plans to the United States until early next year. ”
But with the possibility of traveling directly to the US now becoming a reality, many Indians are definitely changing their conversations about travel dates. However, many unanswered questions remain. The White House has said only fully vaccinated travelers can enter the U.S. There is a lack of clarity about children who want to travel along with vaccinated parents. As there are still no approved vaccines for under-18s in India, the younger group is not yet vaccinated and cannot travel.
Read: Covid travels: Going to the United States via Dubai to beat the ban (September 21, 2021)
Immigration lawyer Nishith Shah advises travelers to wait until clear guidelines are announced and not rush to arrange the trip.
So while some in India are waiting for the final guidelines, many are sighing in relief at the long-awaited travel restrictions that are coming to an end.