WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Beginning Monday, travelers heading to the U.S. will be required to show evidence of a negative test for the virus within one day of boarding their flight. The previous period was three days.
As public health officials rush to get a grip on the omicron variant, the CDC is tightening travel requirements as a precaution.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) order says the agency “must take a quick and targeted action to help curtail the introduction and spread of the omicron variant into the United States.”
As of Dec. 6, all travelers regardless of vaccination status or citizenship must show a negative COVID-19 test taken the day before they board their flight into the country. Children under 2-years-old do not need to be tested.
According to the CDC, you are considered fully vaccinated:
- 14 days after your dose of accepted single-dose vaccine
- 14 days after your second dose of an accepted two-dose aries
- 14 days after you received two doses of any “mix and match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart
“If you are not fully vaccinated, get tested with a viral test one to three days before your trip,” the CDC said.
The CDC reports the omicron variant has been found in 23 countries so far. The White House released a statement saying it would bar nearly all foreign nationals from entering the U.S. from eight South African countries over fears of spreading the new strain.
Federal officials say the delta variant continues to be the dominant variant in the U.S., but early studies show the omicron is twice as transmissible as the delta variant.
Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman said she would not “expect the lifting of restrictions before we know more about the variant. We will continue to evaluate if additional restrictions need to be put in place.:”
But those restrictions have not been applied to other countries that have omicron cases. The new restrictions also don’t require COVID-19 testing requirements for international travelers crossing U.S. land borders with Canada or Mexico.
During your travel, the CDC requires you to “wear a mask over your nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs, including airports.”
The CDC recommends not to travel if you:
- You’ve been exposed to COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days
- You are sick
- Tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation, even if you are fully vaccinated.
- Waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If you test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you are advised to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to end your isolation.
To view more information on the new travel rules, head to cdc.gov.