US president establishes 14-day review committee for CDC travel protocols
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Newly inaugurated United States President Joe Biden announced yesterday that international visitors traveling to the United States will be required to quarantine upon arrival in the country.
The new measure will expand on the requirements announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for international travelers to first test negative for COVID-19 before traveling into the country.
According to the executive order signed by Biden yesterday, anyone entering the country will be required to comply with all other applicable CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.
The order noted that the country’s secretary of Health and Human Services, including through the director of the CDC, the secretary of transportation and the secretary of Homeland Security, will assess the initial CDC orders and guidelines within 14 days of the order regarding the requirements of a negative COVID-19 test for airline passengers and the feasibility of additional public health measures such as testing, self-quarantine and self-isolation, along with measures to prevent fraud.
A plan will then be provided to the US president on policy implementation, tools and mechanisms to enforce the protocols.
The committee will also engage with foreign governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and any other relevant stakeholders to establish guidelines.
Those guidelines should address quarantine, testing, COVID-19 vaccination, follow-up testing and symptom-monitoring, air filtration requirements, environmental decontamination standards and contact tracing.
The new protocol comes as the United States experiences record numbers of cases and deaths related to COVID-19.
Initially, the country had only required travelers from the UK to test negative for the virus prior to arrival, following reports of a new, more contagious COVID variant originating in the UK.