USA will require from next Monday all travelers who move to its territory to present a negative test of coronavirus in the 24 hours prior to your flight, regardless of their vaccination status or country of departure, with the aim of stopping a possible spread of the new variant of COVID-19, omicron.
It is one of the measures announced this Thursday by the Administration of US President Joe Biden, within its winter plan against covid-19, which has eight more provisions.
Until now, the United States required pre-departure coronavirus testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated air travelers, but was stricter for those who have not received the inoculations.
In fact, those not vaccinated had to present a negative test in the 24 hours prior to the flight, while those vaccinated had to do the same but in the previous 72 hours.
“This stricter time frame for all travelers provides an additional degree of public health protection as scientists continue to evaluate the omicron variant, “said a senior US official, who preferred to remain anonymous, in a call with reporters.
This source ruled out that travelers have to remain in quarantine for a certain time after their arrival or undergo another coronavirus test two or three days after stepping on US soil, as several media outlets in the country had advanced.
Beyond travel protocols, Biden’s winter coronavirus plan includes Steps to Boost Booster Vaccine Among All Adults; expand the number of inoculations among children; increase access to free tests at home; and increase protections in the workplace.
Likewise, Biden’s program, announced this Thursday by the White House, will reinforce rapid response teams to help combat possible spikes in cases and ensure the supply of covid-19 treatment pills once they are approved by the Administration of Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others.
Although the senior official acknowledged in the call that the new omicron variant is “cause for concern” in the US, he asserted that “it is not a cause for panic.”
“We have the tools we need to face this variant and keep moving forward in our fight against the virus. We are using them to keep the population safe, have our schools open and protect our economy, “he said.
The United States confirmed this Wednesday the first case in its territory of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has been detected in California and corresponds to an individual who returned to the United States from South Africa on November 22.
In the United States, the country hardest hit by the pandemic with more than 780,000 deaths, almost 20% of its population has also already received the booster dose of available serums.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.