The United States has issued four travel advisories for India this year and since March 28 maintained the same low Level 2 – exercise increased caution – for its citizens planning to travel to the country. Introduced several years ago, the American travel advisories maintained and issued by the Department of State is now broadly bifurcated into four different colour-coded levels from 1 to 4, with one (white) being the safest place to travel and four (red) being the no travel zone recommended for its citizens.
Yellow-coloured Level 2 which advises Americans to exercise increased caution has been the travel advisory for India since March 28 of this year, when the State Department lowered it from Level 3 travel advisory of January 24. In Level 3, the US advises its citizens to reconsider their travel to that particular country.
The travel advisory for India has mostly been Level 2 and a few times Level 3. It was put into Level 4 category at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in April 2021.
For all practical purposes the last three travel advisories this year – March 28, July 25 and October 5 – are similar in nature and content has been the same that now there is normalization of coronavirus situation in India.
The issuing of travel advisories by the United States depends on a number of factors. Prominent among these includes, the situation in the country, public health concerns, law and order, terrorism, relationship with that country and travel season.
In India’s neighborhood, Afghanistan and Myanmar are placed in the highest Level 4 category, while Pakistan and China have been put in Level 3.
Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka are in Level 2 along with India while Bhutan is in Level 1, in which the US urges its citizens to exercise normal precaution during the travel