US introduces new restrictions for international arrivals from Monday

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From Monday, all international travellers to the US must receive a negative Covid-19 test result within 1 day of travel. Prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant, this measure applied only to unvaccinated travellers, with fully inoculated people able to arrive with a negative result obtained within 3 days of travel.

However, the arrival of Omicron has prompted health officials to extend the requirement to all international arrivals, regardless of vaccination status. According to a Reuters report, airlines are expected to be given a 3-day grace period that will allow people to still enter with test results obtained within 3 days of travel. US officials are also considering waiving the requirement for around 24 countries where obtaining same-day test results is difficult. However, if granted, the waiver is only expected to remain in place for a week.

The US has joined several other countries in barring nearly all foreign nationals or non-US residents arriving from 8 countries in southern Africa. However, at the moment, those measures have not been extended to arrivals from other countries where the Omicron variant has been reported.

The country’s leading infectious diseases specialist, Anthony Fauci, says he considers the restrictions on the African countries a short-term measure. However, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki says she doesn’t expect restrictions to be lifted until more is known about the Omicron variant and they could even be tightened.

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“We will continue to evaluate if additional restrictions need to be put in place.”

SOURCE: Reuters

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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