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The United States changes its entry requirements to the country due to omicron


President Joe Biden announced new travel requirements due to the omicron variant. This is what we know as of December 2.

This was the steps of the Peruvian infected with omicron, according to authorities 2:30

(CNN) -

Just when we thought America's travel requirements were starting to stabilize, the omicron variant enters the picture.

The dominoes began to fall rapidly after South African health authorities informed the world of the discovery of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in late November.

  • This is how omicron was discovered in South Africa, the variant of coronavirus that set off a chain reaction

The Biden administration established controversial travel bans on arrivals from eight southern African countries.

The travelers found themselves unexpectedly stranded.

And now the United States authorities have announced that they will once again tighten travel regulations.

Things change every day and even hourly, but here are some of the questions people have about US travel regulations and the answers we have as of December 2:

Do the testing standards to enter the United States change?

Yes, according to the announcement that President Joe Biden made this Thursday of the new measures aimed at curbing the pandemic.

All international travelers entering the country will have to undergo a 24-hour test before leaving for the United States.


President Joe Biden speaks about the omicron variant during a visit to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on Thursday.

Credit: Evan Vucci / AP

This new deadline will apply to everyone, "regardless of nationality or vaccination status," says the plan outlined on the White House website.

According to the published plan, the tightening of the test protocol will occur "early next week."

Currently, vaccinated travelers must be tested within three days of departure.

Foreign travelers arriving in the United States must be fully vaccinated.

  • Are travel restrictions effective against covid-19?

Unvaccinated Americans and legal permanent residents can enter the country with a test performed within one day of leaving for the United States.

The new rule will make the term of the test one day for everyone.

Biden also announced that the federal mandate requiring travelers to wear masks at airports, on airplanes and on other public transportation, such as trains and buses, has been extended until March 18.

A COVID-19 testing center operates inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on December 1.

Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Is there a post-arrival testing or quarantine requirement?

No. "We are not going to announce any action on post-arrival testing and quarantine," a senior administration official told a news conference Wednesday night.

"I will say ... look, if additional measures are recommended, if the additional measures can be implemented well and are effective, we will not hesitate to take them, but we are not taking them today," the official said, according to a White House transcript from that briefing.

What countries are included in the new United States travel ban?

Travel bans announced on November 26 bar non-citizens from eight southern African countries from entering the United States.

They are Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

On November 27, the CDC placed all of these countries at "very high" risk level 4 for covid-19.

(Botswana was already at level 4 due to its case load, more than 500 per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days.)

  • CDC Moves Three Favorite European Travel Destinations to Its Highest Risk List

Citizens of those nations and those of others who have traveled there in the past 14 days cannot enter the United States.

Can US citizens who are already in those nations return?

If you can.

According to the White House statement, the CDC says that "United States citizens and legal permanent residents, certain family members, and others who meet specified exceptions, who have been to one of the countries listed above in the last 14 days they will be allowed to enter the United States. "

Until December 2, they continue to be required to follow the current regulations to re-enter: a negative result of a covid-19 test in the three days before the trip if they are fully vaccinated and within a day if they are not vaccinated .

Can US citizens continue to travel to prohibited countries?

Technically, yes.

At least two US airlines are still flying back and forth from South Africa, for example.

Delta Air Lines continues to offer Atlanta-Johannesburg service, and United Airlines continues to offer Newark-Johannesburg service.

United Airlines is also resuming nonstop service between Newark and Cape Town, according to a South African Tourism press release.

The statement also says that "we would like to underline that our country is still open to all those travelers who wish to visit it."

Whether it is advisable to go is another matter.

The CDC advises against it.

New barriers to travel may also be encountered.

For example, Zimbabwe imposed mandatory confinement from Tuesday, November 30, and mandatory quarantine for travelers, according to the state news agency NewZiana.

Going to the nations of southern Africa while bans are in effect around the world can get you banned from going to other countries.

For example, the UK does not allow entry to anyone who has been to the "red list" countries, which includes Angola and Zambia, in addition to the eight mentioned above, except its own returning nationals.

Argentina, Canada, Italy and other nations also established bans, each with its own specific parameters.

What is the United States doing to detect the virus?

The CDC said it would expand omicron surveillance at four of the major international airports in the United States.

The CDC also confirmed to CNN on Wednesday that authorities directed airlines carrying passengers who have been to certain southern African nations to share the contact information of those passengers with the agency.

Airlines have already been collecting passenger contact information under a CDC contact tracing order that has been in effect on November 8.

- CNN Travel will update this article as new information becomes available and the rules change.

Wayne Chang, Kaitlan Collins, Jacqueline Howard, Pete Muntean, Megan Vazquez, and Greg Wallace contributed to this report.

omicron travel restrictions

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-12-02

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