The White House announced on Thursdays that all travelers inbound to the U.S. must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of boarding their flights, regardless of vaccination status or nationality.
Beginning next week, the tightening of testing for those entering the United States is down from the current three days for those who have been vaccinated.
The new order is part of President Biden’s winter plan for combating COVID-19 and the new omicron variant. The plan also includes a requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests and federal employees to receive paid time off for get a booster shot.
“The actions I’m announcing are ones that all Americans can rally behind and should unite us in the fight against COVID-19 and they come from a position of strength,” President Joe Biden said in recent remarks from Washington. “We are better positioned than we were a year ago to fight COVID-19.”
In the process to update the country’s travel options in an effort to combat the virus, the White House has did not consider tougher options, such as requiring post-arrival testing or requiring quarantines upon arrival in the U.S.
As All About Arizona News reported, the plans also include Biden extending the requirement of masks on airplanes and all public transportation, which was set to expire in January. The extension was moved to March 18th.
The White House said the CDC was currently working to develop new guidance for schools in an effort to reduce and or eliminate the existing quarantine requirements for those who are not fully vaccinated and exposed to the virus. The new policies, which should be released in the coming weeks, could include “test-to-stay” policy. This type of plan would be for those who are considered close contacts can continue to go to school but would be re quired to wear a mask and undergo serial testing, in an effort to minimize learning loss and disruption of classwork.