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U.S. requires all int’l travelers to receive COVID-19 test before departure

U.S. requires all int’l travelers to receive COVID-19 test before departure

Posted January. 23, 2021 07:28,   

Updated January. 23, 2021 07:28


U.S. President Joe Biden has made self-quarantine mandatory for all international travelers to the country in order to combat the spread of COVID-19. In addition to a measure requiring all air travelers to the U.S. to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure, the Biden administration has added another mandatory measure, making self-quarantine mandatory for all air travelers. President Joe Biden took office on Wednesday and his administration has made fighting the COVID-19 crisis its top priority.

President Biden on Thursday signed several executive orders aimed at tackling COVID-19, requiring all international travelers to the U.S. to receive COVID-19 test before departure and self-quarantine upon entering the country. President Biden likened the measures to “a wartime undertaking,” adding that 400,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19 and that is more than the number of Americans killed in World War ll. President Biden, however, did not reveal the period of self-quarantine and when it begins. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, which recently shortened COVID-19 quarantine period from 14 days to 10, all travelers to the U.S. are recommended to isolate themselves at home. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier announced that all air travelers to the U.S. are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result before departure from next Tuesday.

President Biden signed an executive order on Thursday, mandating masks in airports and on planes, trains, buses, and ships. He also activated Defense Production Act (DPA) to provide sanitation supplies, test materials, and vaccines necessary to combat COVID-19. President Biden warned that COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. is likely to surge by 100,000 in six weeks to surpass 500,000. “We are still facing a very dark winter,” said Biden, adding that Americans will have to wait several months or more for the situation to improve to the level they want.

The Biden administration proposed a five-year extension of New START, nuclear arms-control treaty, with Russia. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing on Thursday that the U.S. intends to seek a five-year extension of New START and the president has long been clear that the treaty is in the national security interests of the U.S. Back in 2010, then U.S. president Barack Obama signed the New START treaty with Russia, which limits each country to 1,550 deployed warheads. The treaty, which is set to expire on Feb. 5, is the only remaining arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia.

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com