Biden Imposes Stricter Travel Rules Amid Increased New Omicron Cases

Temporary Travel Restrictions Have Been Placed on All Incoming Flights Scheduled to Arrive from South Africa

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has recently unveiled a much strict set of coronavirus travel regulations as the entire country of the United States has been able to confirm several Covid-19 cases that have been diagnosed with the new Omicron variant from to East to the West coast. For the upcoming week, all the international travelers arriving in the United States, including American nationals, are required to take a mandatory Covid test one day before their flight, regardless of their vaccine status, to prevent an influx of new Omicron cases.

Restrictive measures

Meanwhile, those individuals that have recently recovered from being infected by the coronavirus are required to provide the authorities with a document containing proof of recovery instead. The requirement of face masks while being aboard buses, trains, and airplanes will be further extended until the mid-week of the month of March, as the new Omicron cases are likely to increase in the cold weather.

Hundreds of millions of homes Covid tests without any cost are to be made available for all individuals to encourage them to be gate tested immediately in case they develop any symptoms. Up till now, ten new Omicron cases have been diagnosed in the United States; in the cities of New York, California, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Colorado, where according to the local authorities, the infected individuals did not have a recent traveling history prior to being diagnosed.

It has been reported by the officials at the state healthcare that the active new Omicron cases that have been reported have shown mild symptoms. The Omicron variant has now been detected in over 30 countries worldwide. It is still unclear that whether the new Omicron cases, which are caused by a highly mutated variant of the coronavirus infection, have any direct association with increased transmission rate or ineffectively with the existing vaccines.

It is being encouraged by the United States for all the adult population to get the booster dose of vaccine, amid warnings that there is an expected rise of Covid cases during the cold weather.

President Biden said during a press conference at the National Institute of Health in Maryland that the entire country is going to fight against the spread of the new Omicron cases with speed and science, not confusion and chaos. He later assured that the plan to combat against the new variant does not include nationwide lockdowns and shutdowns of businesses.

Omicron variant in the US

More than 40 million residents of America have been able to receive their vaccine against the coronavirus infection, but around 100 million of the general population residing in the country have still not been vaccinated despite being eligible to receive the vaccine.

Hundreds of clinics and family vaccination centers are to be set up by the government of the United States across the nation to be able to increase the rate of vaccine administration among teenagers and children to prevent them from getting infected with the new Omicron variant as the number of active cases is rising.

It has been said by the officials that the private insurers are obliged to make reimbursements to their 150 million customers for them to be able to buy Covid test that could be easily conducted at home by themselves, while 50 million Covid tests would also be distributed free of cost to those individuals that are uninsured by means of rural clinics and healthcare centers, amid the rise of new Omicron cases in the country.

However, the reimbursements for Covid tests would not begin before the month of January next year, soon after the period of Christmas holidays which sees a rise in traveling along with indoor gatherings.

The United States, along with several other nations throughout the world, have made a temporary ban on traveling from eight different countries located in the region of South Africa. It has been stated by the health experts that due to the placement of travel restrictions, it will help the government to buy some time to be able to study and act accordingly over the new Omicron cases before the situation aggravates.  

Five new Omicron cases have been discovered in the city of New York. According to the local officials of the city, an individual who had recently attended a convention that was held in Manhattan in the last week of November has also been tested positive for the Omicron variant.

Also read Omicron Variant Halts the Return to Economic Normality