The new rules will require every traveler arriving in the United States from another country to test negative one day before departure, changing rules that allowed inbound travelers to test for up to three days before entering the country. . The new rule from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention goes into effect Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET.
The policy change – which President Joe Biden announced on Thursday with a list of new measures to tackle Covid-19 this winter – highlights the potential threat posed by the newly discovered Omicron variant. Scientists are still working to determine how transmissible the variant is, how badly it makes people sick, and how well current vaccines work against it.
“Experts say Covid-19 cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks and this winter,” the president said. “So we have to be ready. “
Any foreign national traveling to the United States must be fully immunized, although there are no vaccination requirements for U.S. citizens traveling by air, either globally or domestically. The White House said earlier today that a vaccine requirement for domestic travel remains on the table as an option going forward.
“It goes from week to week, to determine what we need and what the state of things is. We are going to learn a lot more over the next couple of weeks about the lethality of this virus, how far it is spreading, whether what we have can control it, etc. », He continued.
Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or receive a booster if they are eligible. Other measures such as masks, hand washing, physical distancing, and ventilation will still work against the Omicron variant.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus remains the dominant variant around the world and in the United States.
This story was updated with additional information on Thursday.