According to a draft proposal that’s circulating the administration under President Biden is considering putting new testing requirements in place as far as international arrivals to the U.S. are concerned which will be announced Thursday.
Measures that are under consideration include a max 24-hour test before departure (currently 72 hrs), a follow-up test within 3-5 days after arrival as well as a possible self-isolation requirement or recommendation.
This is a draft for now and certain policy recommendations still require input from various other departments such as the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security as to the legality and practicality of these new measures.
Especially a self-isolation requirement would stand on weak legal grounds and would almost certainly be challenged in court where the administration doesn’t seem to have much luck recently as far as many other policies are concerned that were put in place through Presidential Proclamation (Executive Order).
The two testing measures are detailed in a draft public health order written by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is under review by officials at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and the White House. The self quarantine-related measures are not in that draft but could be added later if the proposals win broader sign-off, said the officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the order has not been finalized.
Currently, the United States requires pre-departure coronavirustesting for both unvaccinated and vaccinated air travelers to the country. For those who show proof of full vaccination, that test must be conducted no more than three days before the flight’s departure. For someone who cannot show such proof,the test must be doneno more than one day before departure. The new policy would require everyone to be tested one day before departure.
Other key details were still being ironed out Tuesday. It’s not clear when the new policy would take effect. But given the urgency of limiting the spread of what might be a highly transmissible variant, speed is essential. It’s possible the policy could take effect in a week or two, according to one official. …
Other key details were still being ironed out Tuesday. It’s not clear when the new policy would take effect. But given the urgency of limiting the spread of what might be a highly transmissible variant, speed is essential. It’s possible the policy could take effect in a week or two, according to one official.
It makes very little sense to go crazy about things we don’t know yet. Apart from the testing requirement, the proposed policies would be pretty much impossible to actively enforce. They can be recommended, the government can even threaten penalties against people who violate the rules but to enforce them isn’t a feasible solution.
It’s possible that the testing method could also be changed to PCR testing rather than Antigen. A 24-hour pre-departure test will prove to be very difficult for many passengers depending on what part of the world they’re leaving from. Finding a provider that offers an express test at all is the first challenge and then there is the cost involved with such an express testing method. I’ve seen prices range from free (southern Europe) to over US$300 (in the U.S. and Germany) for a turnaround within a few hours.
Also unclear is if these new rules would apply to all origins worldwide or if there are exceptions.
The U.S. has just lifted their general travel ban on Schengen countries in November:
Travel from Europe to the U.S. has immediately picked up following the relaxation of the rules. Now with the new variant sending everyone into a frenzy… who knows what is going to happen. Stay tuned, patience is key!
Later this week, most likely on Thursday, the U.S. government will announce new rules concerning travel to the U.S. from international destinations.
A few new measures are already floating around but the most firm one appears to be a new time window of 24 hours for the mandatory Covid tests prior to departure. Other rules are being discussed but let’s just wait and see what will be announced. It makes no sense to think about working with the little bit that’s known right now.
I have a flight to the U.S. booked in roughly two weeks’ time. Depending on the new rules and when they kick in I might be inclined to change the date of my departure and fly earlier. Fortunately, a 24-hour test would not be a problem for me here in Bangkok. There are some reliable providers here that can provide this for an acceptable price.