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COVID-19: US Tightens Travel Testing Requirements, Extends Mask Mandate In New White House Plan

President Joe Biden announced a series of new measures to combat COVID-19 amid the emergence of the Omicron variant.
President Joe Biden announced a series of new measures to combat COVID-19 amid the emergence of the Omicron variant. Photo Credit: Rudy and Peter Skitterians / Pixabay

President Joe Biden announced a series of new measures to combat COVID-19 amid the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Biden said in an announcement on Thursday, Dec. 2, that early next week the United States will require all inbound international travelers to get a COVID-19 test within one day of departure, regardless of their nationality or vaccination status. 

"This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant," the announcement from the White House reads.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of the new variant in the United States on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

The president also announced an expansion of existing requirements to wear a mask while traveling on planes, trains, and public transportation, and inside of transportation hubs including airports and bus terminals.

The mandate is extended through Friday, March 18. It had been set to expire in January.

Read the full update from Biden here.

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