President Biden Announces New Measures in COVID-19 Fight

On Thursday, December 2, President Biden announced new actions in response to the Delta and Omicron COVID-19 variants. In addition to stronger public health protocols for international travel, President Biden announced vaccination and booster programs for children and adults, expanded at-home testing, workplace and school protections, treatment pills, and a commitment to global vaccination efforts.

International Travel Protocols

On Friday, November 26, after the World Health Organization (WHO) named the Omicron variant as a Variant of Concern, the Biden administration restricted travel from 8 Southern African countries. That travel policy went into effect on Monday, November 29, 2021.

Per today’s statement from the White House, starting next week, the United States will tighten pre-departure testing protocols by requiring all inbound international travelers to test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This policy change applies to foreign nationals, US citizens, and US residents. This narrows the testing window, which is currently three days for fully vaccinated foreign nationals.

The Biden administration will continue to require masking during international or other public travel – as well as in transportation hubs such as airports or indoor bus terminals – through March 18, 2022. The Transportation Security Administration will extend its implementing orders to maintain these requirements through then. Individuals who do not follow mask guidelines may face fines upward of $500.

Erickson Insights

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving, and guidance from government agencies and health advisories change often.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.