Beginning Monday, December 6, people traveling to the U.S. will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of boarding their flight instead of three days prior, regardless of their nationality or vaccination status.
“This tighter testing timetable provides an added degree of protection as scientists continue to study the omicron variant,” Biden said during a brief appearance to announce his latest measures against the virus.
Biden has extended the federal rule requiring passengers on planes, trains, and buses to wear face masks through March 18.
This move comes after the Biden administration’s announced a ban on travel to the U.S. by foreign nationals who have been to South Africa or seven other African countries within the previous 14 days.
Here’s what travelers should know:
Do testing requirements apply to children?
The testing applies to children over two years old. There is also an option for people who can prove they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Learn more about these requirements.
Do you have to test exactly 24 hours before travel?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s policy specifies that travelers must get tested one day before the flight’s departure but does not say it has to be exactly 24 hours before.
That means if your flight is at 1 p.m. on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday.
Is testing and quarantine required after arrival?
It is not required, but the CDC recommends testing all travelers three to five days after travel. Travelers are advised to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms.
It is also recommended that those who are not fully vaccinated stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if they test negative within three to five days after arrival.
Unvaccinated travelers who don’t get tested are advised to stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
If the traveler has recovered from a documented coronavirus infection within the past 90 days before travel, they do not need to get a test three to five days after travel, even if they’re unvaccinated, the CDC says.
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