U.S. Tightens Travel Testing Requirements, Mask Mandates as Part of Broader Plan to Fight Covid-19

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December 02. The Biden administration is tightening travel rules to and within the U.S., requiring all in-bound international passengers to test for Covid within 24 hours of departure and extending its mask requirement on all domestic flights and public transportation through March 18.

The changes were announced Thursday as part of a broader plan to bolster the nation’s arsenal of tools in its fight against the virus as the world enters its third year of the pandemic.

The plan is also the latest move by the Biden administration to stem the spread of the new, highly mutated omicron variant of the coronavirus, which was first reported to the WHO by South Africa a week ago. At least 23 countries have identified omicron cases so far, and that number is expected to rise in the coming days and weeks, the WHO said Wednesday.

The U.S. joined that list after confirming its first case of the variant in Northern California on Wednesday.
The mask mandate, which was originally supposed to expire in January, requires masking while on buses, trains, planes and transportation hubs such as indoor bus terminals and airports.

The administration had given businesses with 100 or more employees until Jan. 4 to ensure their staff are either vaccinated against Covid-19, or submit a negative test weekly before entering the workplace. Unvaccinated employees were also supposed to start wearing masks indoors at the workplace on Dec. 5.

The Biden administration’s winter Covid plan also includes more free at-home tests.

More than 150 million Americans with private insurance will be able to get reimbursed for their at-home tests, according to the plan. Those without private insurance will be able to access at-home tests through community sites such as health centers and rural clinics.

Source: CNBC

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90410cookie-checkU.S. Tightens Travel Testing Requirements, Mask Mandates as Part of Broader Plan to Fight Covid-19