Travellers to the U.S. will soon need a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of entering the country.
U.S. President Joe Biden made the anticipated announcement on December 2 amid growing concerns around the new Omicron variant.
The new rules will take effect early next week, according to a White House briefing. All U.S.-bound international travellers will need to take a test within one day of their departure, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. Unvaccinated travellers are not allowed to enter the U.S., with limited exceptions.
The U.S. announcement comes just days after Canada announced that U.S. travellers were exempt from the new travel measures. Currently, fully vaccinated air travellers from all countries except the U.S. must get tested upon arrival at a Canadian airport. They will need to go into quarantine until their test comes back negative.
Canada’s health minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, said the government would meet with the provinces to discuss measures with the U.S. So far, there have been no further developments made public since November 30.
Travellers must now be fully vaccinated in order to board a plane or train in Canada.
Canada’s travel restrictions
Following the discovery of the Omicron variant, Canada has restricted travel from the following 10 countries:
- South Africa; and
Foreign nationals who have been to these countries within the past two weeks are forbidden from entering Canada. Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents that have been in any of these countries over the same timeframe will need a negative PCR test taken in a third country. They will be tested again upon arrival and must go into quarantine for 14 days and complete a test on day 8.
Those coming by air will go to a designated quarantine facility while they wait for their arrival test results. They can leave once their test results come back negative.
Those arriving by land may be allowed to go directly to the quarantine location named on their quarantine plan. If they do not have a suitable quarantine plan, they will be sent to a designated quarantine facility.
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