President Joe Biden’s latest COVID-19 requirement demanding that all travelers into the U.S. including Americans submit a negative test within 24 hours of departure, regardless of vaccination status, takes effect Monday.
The announcement follows the president’s coronavirus winter strategy speech on Thursday that introduced the upcoming requirement.
“Early next week, the United States will tighten pre-departure testing protocols by requiring all inbound international travelers to test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant,” the plan stated.
The new rule came as one of many new additional travel requirements during the speech. In addition, Biden revealed an extension of the mask mandate on federal transportation — including air travel, buses, and trains — through March 18, 2022.
International travelers to the U.S. will also be required to be fully vaccinated. The Biden administration also banned air travel from South Africa and neighboring countries over concerns regarding the recently-discovered Omicron variant.
“Last month, the Administration implemented stronger international travel protocols, including requirements for foreign travelers to be fully vaccinated. The very day the WHO identified the new Omicron variant, the Biden Administration took immediate steps to restrict travel from the countries in the region where it was confirmed to be spreading quickly,” Biden’s announcement added.
We have moved forward in the face of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. We will move forward in the face of the Omicron variant as well. And we’ll do it together. pic.twitter.com/2UqwdbN9Ms
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 3, 2021
Not everyone agrees that adding more restrictions is the right idea.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a speech last week that, “We will not let (the federal government) lock you down.”
— WESH 2 News (@WESH) November 30, 2021
he Daily Wire previously reported that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was confronted by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy over the same matter after Doocy had previously tried to question Biden and Biden did not answer his question.
“To the questions from earlier about messaging, whatever happened to President Biden’s promise to shut down the virus?” a reporter asked. “There’s another variant here. Is the idea that you want people now to kind of wrap their heads around that the President, instead of shutting down the virus, is going to try to help people live amidst the virus and go about their lives but COVID is going to be here?”
“We’re working on it, Peter,” Psaki responded.
“There’s another variant here: Is the idea that you want people now to kind of wrap their heads around that the President, instead of shutting down the virus, is going to try to help people live amidst the virus and go about their lives but COVID is going to be here?” Doocy asked.
“Well, Peter, what’s very important for people to understand and all of you are communicating to the public about what steps they can take to go back to normal or go back to normal life — something everybody wants to do,” she responded. “We’re all sick and tired of this virus, but we need approximately 20 percent of the population or more people than are currently vaccinated to go get vaccinated and go get boosted. What we can do as the federal government is make those vaccines free, make the boosters free, make them available. The President will talk more about what we’re going to do tomorrow. But we need the American people to do more — who are not vaccinated — to help us continue to fight the virus.”