US to require all incoming foreign air passengers to undergo COVID-19 test the day before – .

US to require all incoming foreign air passengers to undergo COVID-19 test the day before – .

WASHINGTON – Early next week, Canadians and all other foreign visitors to the United States by air will be required to take a COVID-19 test no later than the day before they leave.

US President Joe Biden is reducing the current 72-hour testing window for fully vaccinated travelers as part of a series of public health measures aimed at slowing the spread of the highly mutated variant of Omicron.

A substantive White House briefing on the plan Wednesday evening made no mention of land borders, or whether fully vaccinated Canadians driving south would be required to show a test result.

Omicron’s rise to power marks just the latest turning point in the long road to some semblance of normalcy for people who regularly travel between the two countries.

It has been less than a month since the United States lifted restrictions on fully vaccinated non-essential travelers seeking to enter the country by land from Canada and Mexico.

Canada, meanwhile, has so far exempted U.S. visitors from its strict new rules, which require all other foreign air travelers to be tested upon arrival and self-isolate while awaiting the results.

Currently, the United States requires that fully vaccinated visitors arriving by air from Canada get tested no later than 72 hours before departure, while those crossing by land need no test at all.

Canada, which began allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens to enter the country in September, continues to require that anyone who has received a full COVID-19 vaccine, including Canadians, also provide proof of a recent negative COVID test.

The government has so far been silent on whether it expects the exemption for air passengers from the United States to change before Monday.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the government would consult with provinces and territories on whether to impose similar measures on visitors from the United States, but Transport Minister Omar Alghabra refused to say on Wednesday whether a decision on this matter was imminent.

Other elements of the US 10-point strategy, outlined by the White House on Wednesday ahead of Biden’s announcement, include:

–A plan to expand access to booster injections, with a comprehensive outreach effort to convince nearly 100 million eligible Americans to get one;

–New family vaccination clinics to provide a one-stop-shop vaccination for entire households;

–Accelerate efforts to safely immunize children under five;

–Increase the availability of home test kits;

–Quick response teams to help fight generalized epidemics of Omicron;

– Another 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated internationally in the next 100 days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 2, 2021.


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