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The Biden administration plans to enact stricter rules for all incoming travelers, including returning Americans, following the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant, omicron, and despite previously claiming that travel restrictions issued during the Trump administration were “xenophobic.”
This was advanced Tuesday by The Washington Post, which explained that the United States will require all persons entering its territory to be tested one day before boarding their flight, regardless of their vaccination status or country of departure.
In addition, travelers could be re-screened within three to five days of arrival in the U.S., according to the Capital newspaper, which quoted three federal health officials.
As part of the plan, to be announced Thursday, the Biden administration will require all visitors, including U.S. citizens, to be quarantined for seven days even if their coronavirus test results are negative.
Should travelers fail to comply with this new regulation, they will be subject to fines and penalties, according to a draft of the order drafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accessed by the Post.
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Currently, the United States requires pre-departure coronavirus testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated air travelers, but is stricter with those who have not received inoculations.
In fact, the unvaccinated must test negative within 24 hours prior to flight, while the vaccinated must do the same, but within 72 hours prior.
The new rule will require all travelers to be tested one day prior to departure.
The U.S. government’s pandemic response team admitted Tuesday that it will take weeks, at least two to four weeks, to have sufficient information about the new covid-19 variant, omicron, its ability to transmit and its aggressiveness.