White House Announces Tougher Travel Rules Including Narrower Testing Window
News - Travel 02-Dec-2021
The Biden administration earlier this week announced there will be some international travel updates to come following the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. He did stress that he will not be closing borders. Today, the White House has published new guidance and rules surrounding international travel. Thankfully, there will be no quarantine requirement, but you will be required to take a pre-departure test 1 day before departure, down from 3 days. This is due to go into effect Monday 6th December. Which means that if you're due to fly on that date, your test must be scheduled for Sunday 5th December. The CDC has updated their website to say it's 1 day before, not 24 hours from flight time.
The 1-day period is 1 day before the flight's departure. The Order uses a 1-day time frame instead of 24 hours to provide more flexibility to the air passenger and aircraft operator. By using a 1-day window, test acceptability does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test sample was taken. For example, if your flight is at 1pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday.
The White House statement about this change is quoted below.
Strengthening global pre-departure testing protocols: Early next week, the United States will tighten pre-departure testing protocols by requiring all inbound international travelers to test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant.
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