The rules of international travel are changing – again.
The advent of the Omicron variant of Covid in southern Africa and its discovery around the world has sparked a host of new travel requests and, in some cases, outright bans – continue aggravating international trips that are just getting underway.
Three weeks after the lifting of a blanket pandemic travel ban in more than 30 countries, the Biden government banned visitors from South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe on November 29.
Starting Monday, the U.S. is rolling out stricter testing requirements for incoming travelers, including U.S. residents, forcing travelers to take their time and plan on budget for doing so Covid Tests closer to their departure date.
Rules changed quickly. Air travelers to the USA need to know the following:
As of Monday, air travelers flying to the US from abroad will be required to provide the airlines with proof of a negative Covid test result, which was carried out within one day of departure, before they are allowed on board. This includes US citizens and vaccinated travelers.
Previously, vaccinated visitors, permanent residents, and citizens were required to submit a test within three days of leaving the United States
The Centers for Disease Control say the samples must be collected one calendar day before departure.
Both the results of antigen and nucleic acid amplification tests or NAAT, including PCR, are accepted.
No. In the United States, travelers are not required to take a test when landing and entering the United States
However, the CDC has expanded a program to offer free, voluntary tests to travelers upon arrival to detect variants, most recently the Omicron variant.
They are offered by XpresSpa group, which has expanded from airport massages and other spa services to airport Covid tests since the beginning of the pandemic, and Ginkgo Bioworks. The program is available at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport. Both tests can be picked up at home or PCR tests can be performed on arrival.
XpresSpa’s XpresCheck subsidiary also offers rapid tests at various US airports at prices ranging from $ 75 for a PCR test to $ 250 for a rapid PCR test.
No. The new rules only apply to air travel.
Airlines’ policies vary and travelers should check with their airline early and frequently about changing rules and ticket policies.
Major US airlines have eliminated rebooking fees for both international and domestic main cabin tickets and beyond, purchased in at least the United States and certain other countries, but travelers could still be responsible for price differences if they opted for a different one Travel decide day. However, basic economy tickets are usually less flexible and more difficult to change.
Delta Airlines waives fare differences for Japan and Israel, which have temporarily banned foreign visitors, and for South Africa if passengers fly on or before December 12th. American Airlines says that with tickets purchased between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 for travel to and from Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand or South Africa, and travel beyond the end of that year the value of the ticket can be used for journeys until December 31, 2022.