Executive order mandates quarantine for international travelers to the U.S.

On his second day in office, President Joe Biden signed 10 executive orders related to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. One of them, “Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel”, lays out a new set of travel restrictions for international visitors to the U.S. As of Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, all international travelers to the U.S. will be required to quarantine for 7 days upon arrival.

The order recommends compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines “to the extent feasible” regarding “recommended periods of self-quarantine”. The order does not detail the logistics of this quarantine or how it will be enforced.

Along with the mandatory quarantine, international travelers will still have to show proof of a negative COVID test result before being allowed to board their flight to the U.S. This CDC requirement also goes into effect on Jan. 26.

Biden’s executive order also requires both domestic and international travelers to wear masks in or on airports, commercial aircraft, trains, public maritime vessels (including ferries), intercity bus services, and all forms of U.S. public transportation.

Additionally, the order directs U.S. agencies to discuss “public health protocols for land ports of entry” with Canada and Mexico. Most non-essential travel at the borders with these two countries is still suspended through at least Feb. 21.

Finally, Biden’s administration also announced its plans to re-institute entry bans on non-U.S. citizens who have recently been to Brazil, the UK, Ireland, and most of continental Europe. Former President Donald Trump lifted these restrictions on Monday, Jan. 18., and they had been scheduled to take effect on Jan. 26.

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