US tightens air travel policies as COVID-19 omicron variant spreads within country
Due to detection of the new omicron variant in at least 17 states, starting today, all inbound international travelers will now have to test negative for COVID-19 within one day of departure to the United States.
U.S. officials are once again tightening air travel regulations due to the omicron variant.
The rule applies to all passengers ages two years old and above.
As of right now, there is no requirement for testing or quarantine once travelers enter the United States.
Officials are still restricting entry to travelers from South Africa and seven other African nations.
Right now, there are at least eight confirmed cases in New York state. Seven of those cases are located within New York City.
The latest case was confirmed Sunday in Connecticut, which officials say is linked back to last month's anime convention at the Javits Center.
A Minnesota man also tested positive for the variant prior to that case, which is also linked to that same convention.
As for the travel ban for travelers from the African countries, President Joe Biden's Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says the Biden administration hopes to be able to lift the ban within a "reasonable period of time".
"I mean, we all feel very badly about the hardship that that might have put upon not only South Africa, but the other African countries. And for that reason, in real time, literally, on a daily basis we're reevaluating that policy," said Fauci.
U.S. citizens who are currently in the southern African countries affected by the travel ban are allowed to re-enter the country. They just must follow the same travel guidelines.
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