US Tightens Travel Testing Requirements; Masks Mandated

Story Highlights
  • Biden administration tightened travel requirements amidst detection of Omicron.
  • All in-bound passengers to test for COVID 24hours prior departure irrespective of vaccination status.
  • US reported two COVID-19 cases infected by Omicron in the past two days.

Washington: The Biden administration has reverted to tighten travel rules to and within the US, requiring all in-bound international arrivals to test for COVID within 24 hours of departure regardless of their vaccination status starting from Monday. Further the authorities also extended mask requirement on planes and public transportation through March 18. The slashing of the current testing window comes as a part of a suite of public health measures aimed to curtail the spread of the new variant.

The announcement came as Biden outlined the plan at the National Institutes of Health headquarters in Bethesda, north of D.C. “This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of protection and scientists continue to study the Omicron variant, he further added.”

Prez Biden tightened the restrictions as a broader plan to bolster the nations arsenal tools in its fights against the virus mutated scrambling nations. The White house is also ramping up access and outreach to encourage eligible US residents to get their shots administered and donating 200 million more vaccines doses globally withing the next 100 days. Authorities also accelerate research into the vaccinating kids under five.

Atleast 23 countries have identified Omicron cases and the number is expected to rise in the coming days and weeks, the WHO said. The US joined the list after it first detected Omicron in California on Wednesday. A second case was reported in Minnesota, as the resident returned from a convention in New York.

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