New COVID-19 Variant Omicron: Latest US Travel Restrictions

By Sierra December 2, 2021 (Updated December 20, 2021) 2 min. read
Note: This article may be out of date and travel restrictions may have changed. Click here to explore the most recent updates and travel restrictions in the United States!

The United States, along with other countries has officially started its latest battle with a new COVID-19 variant. As US officials and scientists gather more data and information about this new strain, the Biden administration has announced that new travel restrictions are coming quickly! This virus strain has already affected some Americans who were in these other countries and were unable to return home. To be sure you are not impacted by these travel restrictions, it’s important to know the current testing/traveling requirements which you can learn more about below.

What We Know About The Omicron Variant

The newest coronavirus variant is called ‘Omicron’ and is considered a “variant of concern” by WHO (World Health Organization) as more and more countries are reporting new cases. Scientists say omicron has an unusual combination of mutations that may enable it to spread faster which has made the United States worried. Although much remains unknown about this new strain, the first case was spotted in South Africa and is known to be present in more than 30 countries. As of December 2, the United States reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant in California & Minnesota.

Latest US Travel Restrictions

Last week, President Biden ordered immediate travel bans for South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi but did not indicate how long the bans will remain in place. Currently, all air travelers must receive a negative COVID-19 within 24 hours of boarding their flight regardless of their vaccination status. The traveling mask mandate will also be extended which was set to expire on January 18th which is now extended to March 18, 2022. The CDC is currently working with US officials to modify the current global testing order for travel as more data comes in on the Omicron variant.

Have You Been Affected By These New Travel Restrictions?

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