The Biden administration is reportedly preparing to implement stricter testing requirements for all international travelers entering the United States, as part of an effort to stem the spread of the newly found Omicron version of the coronavirus.
News outlets say the administration will require everyone entering the US to undergo a COVID-19 test the day before their departure, regardless of their vaccination status. Officials are also discussing whether to enforce the requirement for all travelers to self-quarantine for seven days after arrival, and for all travelers to retire within three to five days after entering the US. The proposed rules for return from US citizens will also apply. overseas travel.
President Joe Biden is expected to unveil the administration’s new strategy in a speech on Thursday.
The US joins a growing list of countries that have imposed travel bans or outright bans on foreign travelers since the Omicron variant was first detected in southern Africa last week.
Japan said on Wednesday it would ask all international air carriers to suspend new reservations for all flights in the country until the end of December in response to the growing outbreak of the Omicron variant. The move by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism came after Tokyo confirmed a second case of the new version.
Japan is also banning the re-entry of all foreign nationals who have Japanese residency if they are traveling from South Africa or nine other southern African countries from Thursday.
Saudi Arabia and Nigeria are the latest nations to report their first cases of the new Omicron variant since the first case was reported in southern Africa last week, bringing the total number of nations to at least 22 that have identified the new variant. is of. A Saudi national tested positive after traveling from a country in North Africa, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday, while Nigerian officials say samples collected from two travelers from South Africa in October The first cases of Omicron were found.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is recommending that people who have not been fully vaccinated and are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill or dying if they contract COVID-19 because of underlying conditions such as diabetes. if they do, they should postpone travel to areas with high rates of community transmission. But the UN health agency has also declared that “blanket” travel restrictions imposed by countries will not stop the global spread of the new variant, but will “put a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods”.
The WHO also says that travel restrictions could adversely affect global health efforts during a pandemic by discouraging countries to report and share critical data.
Some information for this report has been obtained from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.