President Joe Biden has banned travel to India as concerns over the COVID-19 crisis rise in the densely populated country, according to Fox News.
This move comes just months after the president said he didn’t believe that travel bans would stop coronavirus. Those comments were made at the height of the 2020 presidential election, near the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki made the announcement on Friday afternoon, telling reporters that the decision was made with the counsel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who has taken point since the start of COVID-19’s appearance on US soil.
“The administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” Psaki told reporters. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India.”
The newly enacted policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4, an announcement which may itself spark a flood of people back into the United States.
According to Fox, the president was previously very suspicious of any plans that included a travel ban, something his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, was known well for.
“Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it,” Biden tweeted in March 2020 at the very start of the pandemic.
“A wall will not stop the coronavirus,” he wrote. “Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it. This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it.”