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US Considers Restricting Travel From More Countries

The US is reported to be considering adding more countries to its restricted entry list.

According to a report in Bloomberg, State Department officials warned Americans to reconsider international travel and its risks in the pandemic, adding that it might be that bit tougher to get home due to the new Covid-19 testing requirements for re-entry. As of yesterday, January 26, all returning passengers must have a negative test taken within 72 hours of travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommend that passengers self-isolate for seven days upon return and take a second test within five days of re-entry.

“Our main message to U.S. citizens considering travel abroad remains the same—seriously reconsider going overseas right now,” said Ian Brownlee, the principal deputy assistant secretary of consular affairs. “If you are overseas right now, it’s going to be harder to come home for a while.” He also suggested that “all travelers should have a Plan B,” in case they should test positive and need to wait out the infection overseas. “Where would you stay, how would you pay for it, what would happen at home if you couldn’t get back to work?” he said.

Brownlee and Marty Cetron, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) global migration and quarantine division, said during a press briefing that the U.S. is also considering implementing COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers at land crossings and for domestic flights.

These statements come only days after President Biden confirmed the continuation of previous restrictions on inbound travel to the U.S. coming from the U.K., Ireland, 26 other European nations and Brazil; and added South Africa to the list of banned countries in hopes of keeping out a new, highly-infectious COVID-19 variant that has arisen there.

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