New U.S. COVID-19 international travel testing rules take effect on Monday Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: On November 24, 2021, passengers wait in line at the Newark Liberty International Airport terminal in Newark, New Jersey, USA. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters)-U.S. officials confirmed on Thursday that the new rule requiring international air passengers arriving in the U.S. to undergo a negative test for COVID-19 within one day of travel will be Monday at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (0501 GMT) ) Takes effect.

According to current regulations, international air passengers who have been vaccinated can show a negative test result within three days from the date of departure. Currently, unvaccinated travelers must take a negative test for COVID-19 within one day before departure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated on Thursday that, starting from Monday, “all air passengers, regardless of their citizenship or vaccination status, will be required to test negative for the COVID-19 virus the day before boarding. To the United States.”

The White House stated in a fact sheet released on Thursday that as scientists continue to evaluate Omicron variants, the stricter test schedule “provides a greater degree of public health protection.”

The CDC is expected to give airlines a three-day grace period to allow some passengers to return to the United States and test outside the one-day window.

The government is considering whether to grant temporary exemptions to about 20 countries that restrict day testing, but the details are still being finalized. These exemptions can only last for about a week.

On Monday, the White House stated that it would prohibit almost all foreign citizens from entering the United States from eight southern African countries because of concerns about the spread of Omicron variants, but did not extend these travel restrictions to other countries where new variants appeared. discover.

Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease official, said on Wednesday that he viewed the restrictions on these eight countries as a “temporary measure.”

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Thursday that she will not “lift the restrictions until we learn more about the variant. We will continue to evaluate whether additional restrictions need to be implemented.”

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