The United States will enact strict travel bans beginning today to limit foreign travelers who may be infected with variant strains of COVID-19, almost 1 year after the country banned travelers from China.
The ban will extend to all non-US citizens traveling to America from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and 26 countries in Europe in the Schengen Area. Travelers from Brazil and South Africa, where new variants of the virus have recently been discovered, will also be banned.
Tomorrow, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will start to require all travelers flying to the United States provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of their flight.
“If a passenger chooses not to present a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger,” the CDC said.
The CDC order applies to all travelers 2 years and older and also requires a 7-day period of quarantine for all travelers, regardless of negative test status.
Rochelle Walensky, MD, the CDC’s new director, is also expected to sign an order later today that will require masks on passengers age 2 and older on all airplanes, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-share vehicles in the United States, Reuters reported.
The measures signal the threat of the variants, which include B117 (first identified in the United Kingdom) and B1351 (first found in South Africa). Both variants are thought to be significantly more contagious than the original SARS-CoV2 strain identified in Wuhan, China 1 year ago.
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