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Biden Administration's Strict New Travel Rules Could Include a 'Controversial' Self-Quarantine Measure

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Biden administration is reportedly preparing to announce stricter Covid-19 precautions for travelers entering the United States. 

According to The Washington Post, the administration will require testing one day prior to entering the U.S. for all travelers, including U.S. citizens, regardless of vaccination status. Other requirements being considered include forcing travelers to get another test three to five days after arriving and a "controversial" measure that would force travelers to self-quarantine for a week, regardless of whether they received a negative Covid-19 test.

"Those who flout the requirements might be subject to fines and penalties, the first time such penalties would be linked to testing and quarantine measures for travelers in the United States," WaPo reports.

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. […]

The Justice Department also needs to weigh in on whether officials can ask people to self-quarantine, whether fines and penalties are enforceable, and if so, what those amounts should be, the officials said.

As a practical matter, state and local health departments are unlikely to be able to enforce requirements for additional testing and any self-quarantines once travelers arrive in the United States. More than 200,000 people arrived by plane daily in November, a figure that does not include travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, federal authorities said. (WaPo)

The administration's new travel plans are part of its winter Covid-19 strategy and come amid concern over the new Omicron variant. President Biden is expected to announce them on Thursday.

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