We’ve been seeing several updates recently about the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
To combat this variant, the US has already imposed some travel restrictions from certain countries in Africa (where the variant is believed to have originated). We’ve also heard advice from the World Health Organization about at-risk individuals who should avoid travel in general. Now, President Biden is planning to extend a mask mandate in response to the spread of the new variant.
The US currently has a mask mandate for travel, which requires everyone (regardless of vaccination status) to wear a face mask on “on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and transit stations” (The New York Times).
According to the New York Times, this mandate was going to be lifted on January 18th, 2021. However, because of the new Omicron variant, President Biden is going to extend it through at least mid-March of next year.
Another change in policy includes the requirement that all travelers to the US be tested for COVID one day before they leave for the States. These updates are part of President Biden’s “winter strategy for combating Covid-19,” which is set to be announced today (December 2nd) at the National Institute of Health.
We’ll continue to watch for more news and updates about travel at this time, so stay tuned with AllEars.