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    U.S. Tightens International Travel Requirements

    • Published
    • 2 December 2021
    • Category
    • News

    U.S. citizens and foreign nationals will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test within one calendar day of departure to the U.S. regardless of vaccination status, President Biden announced Thursday. The requirement for travelers over age 2 will go into effect on Dec. 6 at 12:01 a.m. Tests are currently required within three days of departure.

    The revised testing policy follows a ban on travel from eight southern African nations in response to the discovery of Omicron, a coronavirus variant of concern, and increased risk for the spread of disease by the prevalent Delta variant during the winter months. Since its discovery in South Africa last week, Omicron has been detected in the U.S. and a rapidly growing list of other countries.

    In addition, the administration is expected to introduce guidance that will require insurers to cover the cost of at-home diagnostic tests, and it has extended a mask mandate during domestic travel by plane, train, bus and other public transportation from January to mid-March. The minimum fine for non-compliance with the mask requirement is $500 and up to $3,000 for repeat offenders.

    Foreign nationals who travel to the U.S. are already required to be fully vaccinated. American citizens traveling by air, either globally or domestically, are not required to be vaccinated. However, they are subject to protection measures in destination countries, which may include vaccination. It’s advisable to check entry and departure requirements before international travel.

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