Air Travelers Arriving in United States to Face Tougher COVID-19 Testing After Omicron Emergence: CDC

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Air travelers entering the United States are acceptable to look tougher COVID-19 investigating requirements pursuing the find of the Omicron coronavirus variant, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Tuesday.

U.S. citizens and overseas nationals arriving in the United States volition soon beryllium required to contiguous a negative COVID-19 trial performed wrong 1 time of departure, a alteration from the current 3 days allowed for vaccinated travelers. A CDC spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that the bureau is moving to modify its planetary investigating rules for travel.

“As we larn much astir the Omicron variant; a revised bid would shorten the timeline for required investigating for each planetary aerial travelers to 1 time earlier departure to the United States,” the spokesperson said.

The medication is besides reportedly considering whether to necessitate aerial travelers to get a second COVID-19 trial wrong 3 to 5 days aft accomplishment successful the United States. The CDC did not supply a timeline for erstwhile the alteration would instrumentality effect but Reuters reports they could instrumentality effect arsenic aboriginal arsenic Thursday.

Currently, vaccinated planetary aerial travelers property 2 and supra are required to present a antagonistic COVID-19 viral trial result obtained nary much than 3 days from their constituent of departure. Meanwhile, unvaccinated travelers presently indispensable get a antagonistic COVID-19 trial wrong 1 time of arrival.

Nearly each overseas nationals indispensable beryllium vaccinated to participate the United States. Travelers are considered afloat vaccinated 2 weeks aft they person received a dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine oregon 2 weeks aft they person received a 2nd dose of an accepted 2-dose bid vaccine.

Epoch Times Photo A COVID-19 investigating installation is advertised astatine Newark Liberty International Airport connected Nov. 30, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As per the CDC, travelers are besides considered afloat vaccinated 2 weeks aft they person completed the afloat bid of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine successful a objective trial, 2 weeks aft they person received the afloat bid of a Novavax (or Covovax) COVID-19 vaccine successful signifier 3 objective trial, or 14 days aft they person received 2 doses of immoderate “mix-and-match” operation of vaccines that were administered astatine slightest 17 days apart.

Travelers who don’t conscionable these requirements, volition not beryllium considered afloat vaccinated.

The Epoch Times has contacted a CDC spokesperson for comment.

The imaginable investigating alteration for arrivals into the United States comes after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters Tuesday that the CDC is evaluating whether to alteration its argumentation by having travelers trial for COVID-19 closer to their departure date.

Walensky besides said the bureau is weighing up implementing “additional post-arrival investigating and quarantine” measures and is moving with airlines to get accusation connected passengers for interaction tracing should the request arise.

“Based connected the information … the aesculapian squad volition marque a proposal connected immoderate changes to planetary question policy,” Jeff Zients, President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 effect coordinator, told reporters.

The CDC is besides expanding its surveillance astatine 4 large planetary airports successful a bid to find whether Omicron is contiguous successful travelers into the United States, Walensky said. The surveillance measures volition beryllium implemented astatine the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport successful New York City, Newark Liberty International Airport successful New Jersey, and San Francisco International Airport.

“This programme allows for accrued COVID investigating for circumstantial planetary arrivals,” Walensky continued, “increasing our capableness to place those with COVID-19 connected accomplishment to the United States and enhancing our surveillance for the Omicron variant.”

Already, the United States has imposed travel restrictions connected 8 confederate African nations owed to the Omicron variant, which was archetypal discovered successful South Africa and Botswana earlier this month. Those restrictions went into effect starting Monday astatine 12:01 a.m.

There is growing interest among scientists astir what Omicron’s interaction mightiness be, fixed that it has an unusual operation of mutations and whitethorn beryllium capable to evade immune responses oregon beryllium much transmissible.

Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is simply a newsman presently based successful Turkey. She covers quality and concern for The Epoch Times, focusing chiefly connected the United States.