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Gov. Phil Murphy, second from right, prepares to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Producers Guild of India to support Bollywood film production in New Jersey.

Murphy: Don’t travel to India right now

Governor recommends deferring trips to India as nation faces massive virus surge

By Nikita Biryukov, April 28 2021 3:34 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy is recommending New Jerseyans defer any trips to India as the country faces a virus surge that’s seen it report hundreds of thousands of new cases each day.

“I think right now we would say, without having checked with anybody, it’s a bad idea to travel to India right now, and that pains me to say that because it’s a country I’ve been to many times in my life, most of them as business but some as pleasure and one as official state visit as governor,” Murphy said.

Federal rules require vaccinated and unvaccinated international travelers headed to the United States be tested for COVID-19 within three days of their departure. Such travelers must show their negative test results before boarding.

Though the United States has barred travelers from some countries, including China and the United Kingdom, from entering the country, India does not appear on that list.

“Just as we said about Brazil and the UK several months ago, South Africa, when you’ve got a hotspot as hot as it is right now in India, I think we’ve got to do everything we can to stay apart,” Murphy said.

New Jersey has one the country’s largest populations of Indian immigrants, with particularly large communities in portions of Middlesex County.

“We’re going to do everything we can to help India, and we’re going to get through this, and they will get through this,” Murphy said. “The last thing we need is anyone stigmatizing anyone of Indian nationality or descent. There’s none of that, period, but I think the more we can stay away from each other right now, the safer we’ll be.”

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