With the goal of preventing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, US President Biden announced a new set of sweeping new public health measures on both domestic and international travel.
Backed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), comes into effect on January 26th, the executive order requires travellers arriving on international flights to present a negative Covid-19 result from a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. People arriving in the US from nearly all countries will be required to quarantine for seven days while masks will be mandated on many domestic trains, planes and buses. This mandate aims to protect Americans from the new Covid-19 variants that are being found around the globe. Additionally, the president reinstated a ban on most travel from the United Kingdom, many countries in Europe and Brazil and blocked travel for non-US citizens who recently visited South Africa.
The testing requirement was introduced by the previous administration, but the quarantine was only a recommendation. According to the executive order, air travellers must comply with applicable CDC guidelines relating to international travel, including mask-wearing, physical distancing, timely testing and recommended periods of self-quarantine. However, the executive order does not explain how quarantine will be enforced.
Aside from wearing face masks, all passengers arriving in America from another country must test before they get on the planes before they depart and quarantine when they arrive in America. The new administration is also in talks with Canada and Mexico to implement new public health guidelines at the land borders. All non-essential travel with Canada and Mexico is currently on hold until February 21st, 2021. The US State Department has advised Americans to seriously reconsider their trips overseas. If they are overseas right now, it is going to be harder to come home for a while, so they should have a ‘plan B’ in case they were unable to fly home.