President Joe Biden on Jan. 21 issued an executive order that would require international air travelers to quarantine upon arrival to the United States.
“To the extent feasible,” the president’s order states, air travelers seeking to enter the United States from a foreign country must comply with applicable guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning international travel “including recommended periods of self-quarantine” or self-isolation upon arrival.
It doesn’t elaborate on how the latest requirements will be enforced, but directs the secretary of Homeland Security to “promptly” develop a plan for a self-quarantine requirement.
The executive order, which is set to go into effect on Jan. 26, also states that people traveling to the United States should test negative before departure.
Anyone traveling to the country by plane “will need to test before they get onto that plane before they depart and quarantine when they arrive in America,” Biden told reporters at a press conference.
The order also directs U.S. agencies to hold talks with Canada and Mexico “regarding public health protocols for land ports of entry” including implementing CDC guidelines. Nearly all non-essential travel at U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico is suspended through Feb. 21.
The CDC recommends a quarantine of at least seven days for people arriving in the United States from nearly all countries. Travelers who do not get tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus upon arrival, are recommended to remain at home for 10 days after travel.
The president has also asked federal agencies to “immediately take action” to ensure that travelers wear masks in airports and on commercial aircraft, trains, public maritime vessels—including ferries—intercity bus services, and all public transportation. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis, the order states.
“We are prepared to make sure we use all relevant authorities to enforce the president’s executive order to ensure across every mode of transportation workers, passengers, commuters are protected,” Pete Buttigieg, the nominee to become secretary of transportation, said Thursday.
The Biden administration announced it would reimpose entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and most of continental Europe after President Donald Trump issued an order on Monday lifting them, effective the same day the new testing rules take effect.
Reuters contributed to this report.