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Coronavirus: No boarding pass for US-bound passengers without negative COVID-19 test

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With the United States rolling out new travel restrictions to the country, State Department and health officials warned Tuesday that travelers should postpone trips abroad.

“All travelers to the United States must test negative for COVID-19 within 3 days of boarding their US-bound flights or must present proof of having recovered from COVID-19,” Acting Assistant Secretary from the Bureau of Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee told reporters in a phone briefing.

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The move comes on the heels of an executive order signed by President Joe Biden last week requiring the negative COVID-19 test before entry.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Global Migration and Quarantine Dr. Marty Cetron was also on the call.

He said if no negative test was provided within three days before one’s flight to the US, no boarding pass would be issued. “All airlines and aircraft operators must confirm that negative result in order to issue the boarding pass, and if a passenger does not have documentation of a negative test or recovery from a medical professional or chooses not to take the test, they will not be able to board the flight back into the United States,” he told reporters.

In the executive order signed by Biden, there was also language regarding “recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.”

Asked to clarify, Brownlee said there were no federal quarantine orders “at this time.”

“Most of this return recommendation really falls in the jurisdiction of state and local authorities, and each, the state and local authorities may have their own specific advice,” Brownlee added.

The US official also told citizens who are planning to travel overseas that they may not be able to return home if “you cannot easily access a COVID-19 test or if you test positive.”

“So again, we urge folks to postpone their trips if they’re able and if they absolutely must travel to equip themselves with information from us,” Brownlee said.

An estimated 419,000 people have died from the coronavirus, and 1.2 million new cases were reported last week, according to Reuters.

As a result of the surge in cases, Biden announced that the US government was buying an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine.

Biden has pledged to provide 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office.

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- With Reuters