Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is revising the current Global Testing Order to shorten the timeline for required testing for all international air travelers to one day before departure to the United States.
This revision strengthens already robust protocols in place for international travel, including requirements for foreign travelers to be fully vaccinated.
As we learn more about the Omicron variant, this new one-day testing policy will help to protect travelers and the health and safety of American communities from COVID-19. These Orders put in place a stringent and consistent global international travel policy that is guided by public health.
The Biden administration is also considering measures such as a 7-day self-quarantine and retesting several days after arrival for all travelers entering the United States, including returning Americans, to curb the spread of the potentially dangerous omicron variant.
Today’s announcement means that beginning December 6, all air travelers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, will be to be required to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 viral test taken the day before they board their flight to the United States.
For example, a passenger whose flight to the United States is at any time on a Sunday would need to have a negative test taken at any time on Saturday.
CDC continues to recommend that all travelers get a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after arrival, and that unvaccinated travelers should quarantine for 7 days after travel.
Both the U.S. Government and the airline industry are committed to making this process as seamless as possible for the traveling public. These travel requirements will be effective for air travel to the United States from any foreign country departing at or after 12:01AM ET on December 6, 2021.
Further guidance and operational details are available on CDC’s website.
Those who flout the requirements might be subject to fines and penalties, the first time such penalties would be linked to testing and quarantine measures for travelers in the United States.
Like a number of other nations, the United States immediately restricted travelfrom several southern African nations where the variant was first reported.
But in recent days, since omicron has been identified in at least 19 countries spanning the globe, U.S. officials, among others, are considering additional precautions given that it may be several weeks before scientists are able to say whether the variant might be able to evade current vaccines and treatments.