Wide U.S. travel restrictions aim to limit COVID-19 variants

Jan. 26, 2021

The United States put in place strict travel bans to limit foreign travelers who may be infected with variant strains of COVID-19, almost 1 year after the country banned travelers from China, according to a news report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.

The ban will extend to all non-U.S. citizens traveling to America from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and 26 countries in Europe in the Schengen Area. Travelers from Brazil and South Africa, where new variants of the virus have recently been discovered, will also be banned. 

Beginning on January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all travelers flying to the United States provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of their flight. The CDC order applies to all travelers 2 years and older and also requires a 7-day period of quarantine for all travelers, regardless of negative test status. 

Rochelle Walensky, MD, the CDC's new Director, is also expected to sign an order that will require masks on passengers age 2 and older on all airplanes, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-share vehicles in the United States, Reuters reported. 

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