US Requires Quarantine for International Arrivals, Universal Mask Mandate

US Requires Quarantine for International Arrivals, Universal Mask Mandate

U.S. President Joe Biden's Executive Order Requires International Travelers to Quarantine after arriving in the U.S. This is in addition to the COVID-19 test required for all international arrivals to the U.S., which goes into effect January 26, 2021.

The Executive Order states that travelers entering the U.S. from a foreign country shall, to the extent feasible, be “required to comply with other applicable CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.”

Current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines state that travelers arriving in the U.S. from a Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 country should:

  • Get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel, even if the test returns a negative result
  • If it's not possible to get tested, stay home for 10 days after travel

It's unclear, however, how quarantine will be enforced for international arrivals to the United States, since the U.S. hasn't demonstrated any appetite for the kind of quarantine hotel system used in Australia, New Zealand, and other smaller countries with fewer airports and international arrivals.

Biden has instructed federal agencies to provide, within the next 14 days, their recommendations on how long quarantine should last, as well as acceptable timing and types of COVID tests that travelers must taken in the 3 calendar days prior to their flight to the U.S.

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Biden's Executive Order also includes a universal mask mandate for most public transportation within the U.S., including commercial flights, airports, trains, intercity buses, and ferries. While U.S. airlines already had mask mandates and threatened to ban passengers who didn't comply, the new federal mask mandate, combined with FAA's announcement that it will subject unruly passengers to legal action and fines up to $35,000, will make it easier to enforce.

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