US Imposes New Testing Requirement for Arrivals From Other Countries, Due to Omicron Variant

vaccination COVID 19

All travelers planning to enter the United States are now obliged to present valid proof that shows they have tested negative against the Coronavirus within one day of boarding their flight instead of three days as it was previously applied.

In addition, Biden’s administration has also announced that all persons traveling by plane, trains, or buses must wear a face mask, as such a requirement which was set to expire in mid-January, has been extended until March 18, VisaGuide.World reports.

Such a decision comes after authorities in the United States announced a ban imposed on internationals who have been in Southern African countries within the previous 14 days, as these territories have been recently affected by the COVID-19’ Omicron variant.

However, authorities in the US have clarified that the travel ban will not affect US citizens as well as permanent residents while stressing that such a ban could soon be lifted, taking into account the epidemiological situation in these territories.

According to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, such restrictions imposed by US authorities are “travel apartheid.”

At the same time, Dr Anthony Fauci stressed that US officials “feel very badly about the hardship that has been put on not only on South Africa but the other African countries.”

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to lift that ban in a quite reasonable period of time,” Fauci pointed out in this regard.

According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 48,702,375 people in the United States have tested positive for the Coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, while 781,256 people have died during the same period.

WHO figures have also revealed that in the last seven days, the US reported 707,622 new COVID-19 infection cases and 8,230 deaths.

In addition, authorities in the United States have also confirmed that they have identified cases of Omicron infection in nearly one-third of US States. Therefore, authorities in the US have tightened their preventive measures in an effort to halt the further spread of the virus and its new strains.

After US authorities detected the third case with Omicron infection in Los Angeles, Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that this shows how critical safety measures are while traveling.

“These requirements include a negative test before boarding your flight, wearing a mask, and not traveling while you are sick. Residents should also consider delaying travel until their and all of their traveling companions are fully vaccinated,” Ferrer pointed out in this regard.

Earlier this month, the US President, Joe Biden, signed a proclamation banning the entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants from territories that are recently affected by the spread of the Omicron variant.