An Update of Recent Travel Restrictions


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Yvonne Wang, Online Staff Writer

As COVID-19 continues to affect daily life, all aspects of society have been continually adapting to the pandemic by making changes to policies. Notably among them are the travel restrictions and entry policies to different areas around the world. 

For U.S. citizens, countries in Europe and South-East Asia are open to travel visas, as long as the traveler (above 2 years old) is vaccinated. However, entry to some Asian countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, requires a 14-day mandatory quarantine. On the other hand, some high-risk countries such as India, are still closing their borders to visitors with travel visas. The current status of the travel restriction was updated on August 15th but is subject to change. 

For non-citizens living in the United States, restrictions have loosened since this summer. In order to visit a majority of European countries, people living in areas such as China and South Africa need to apply for a Schengen visa. In March 2020, the Schengen visa application was closed for non-essential purposes such as traveling. The application only became available again in June for many European countries within the Schengen zone. 

The frequent changes in travel restrictions have cast worries on PDS students,r, especially for seniors planning to travel next summer. Senior Anshika Virani mentioned that she might not be able to go to Japan with her friends: “because of the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement …  the whole reason I’m there is to explore the city and two weeks in a hotel before even doing anything is time-consuming and expensive.” Other students are also hoping for the travel restrictions to be lifted next summer. Senior Veronica Li said that she hasn’t planned that far yet, but hopefully traveling will be safe by then. 

On the other hand, Senior Divya Sharma said that due to travel restrictions and the current COVID-19 situation, she hasn’t seen her grandma for several years: “I’m not too sure when we will be able to see them next, but I know they most likely won’t come to the U.S.  in a while, and we don’t want to put them at risk in India.”

The current health conditions and travel restrictions are to be updated every month. In recent months, travel restrictions have been loosened as vaccination rates around the world shoot up. It is possible that next year traveling activities could resume to a pre-pandemic state.