President Joe Biden is expected to announce new Covid-19 testing requirements on Thursday for travelers entering the United States to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant, which has been detected in at least 23 countries so far.
Anyone entering the country, including American citizens, will need to show proof of a negative Covid test taken within one day of departure, even if they are fully vaccinated. Previously, fully vaccinated travelers had to show proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of departure. The unvaccinated had to provide a test taken within one day of boarding a plane.
The requirements are set to take effect as early as next week.
The new rules are part of Biden’s broader winter plans to combat the spread of the new variant, including free at-home tests and additional mass vaccination sites.
Travelers may also be required to self-quarantine for 7 days, regardless of whether their test results are negative or they are vaccinated, according to a Washington Post report, although these requirements will likely be rolled out at a later date. Those who disregard the rules will be subject to a fine. Everyone entering the country may also need to retest three to five days after arriving.
The announcement comes days after President Biden imposed travel bans on southern Africa, where the Omicron variant was first detected. He said he didn’t anticipate that additional travel bans would be necessary.
Boundless has put together a detailed guide on vaccine and testing requirements when entering the U.S.