American travelers and tourism operators from around the world are waiting for clarification on Biden’s new controversial quarantine order.
On Thursday, Joe Biden signed an executive order that requires Americans returning from abroad to follow CDC “recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation.”
Is The Quarantine Recommended or Mandatory?
The wording in the executive order has caused confusion among travelers. The exact wording states that travelers are “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.”
The CDC recommends the following: “A post-arrival test 3-5 days after arrival at destination, combined with self-monitoring and a 7-day period of staying home.”
While the word ‘recommended’ may be confusing, it does state that Americans are ‘required to comply’.
The order did however state international travelers must follow guidelines “to the extent feasible” leaving the order open to interpretation.
There has been no clarification from the White House on if the quarantine order is mandatory or recommended.
When Does The New Quarantine Requirement Begin?
There has been no official date set for implementation of the quarantine. The executive order is dated January 21 but no clarification was given on if the order was immediate. If the self quarantine period was meant to go into effect immediately, there were not enough details given for Americans to take the proper actions.
Will The Quarantine Be Enforced?
The executive order did not provide any details on how the quarantine would be enforced or if there would be any follow up measures for travelers returning from abroad.
Millions of Americans have been traveling during the pandemic and enforcing a quarantine will take a very large logistical effort by authorities.
Does The Quarantine Order Apply To Land Travel?
However, U.S. travelers have reported that they’ve had no problems crossing into Mexico by car or using the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) which is a walkway between San Diego and Tijuana. The order looks to tighten those restrictions.
Are Vaccinated Travelers Exempt From The Quarantine?
The order states that all travelers entering the United States from a foreign country must follow the testing and quarantine order. There is no exemption mentioned for those who have been vaccinated.
Does Testing Exempt Travelers From The Quarantine?
The quarantine order is in addition to the Covid-19 test which requires all international travelers arriving by air must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 antigen test no older than 72 hours.
Travel Groups and Airlines Oppose Quarantine
The U.S. travel industry and airlines have voiced opposition to mandatory quarantines for air passengers arriving in the United States.
The U.S. Travel Association said that the order “could be extremely difficult to enforce.”.
Airlines for America which represents major airlines in the United States said that “testing can be used to safely resume travel without quarantines, which are difficult to enforce and often prove ineffective.”
Biden Continues To Tighten Travel Restrictions
President Joe Biden is expected to reinstate travel restrictions on foreign nationals entering the US from Brazil, UK, Ireland and the majority of Europe.
The initial travel restrictions for the region were set to be lifted by former President Trump’s proclamation during his final days in office.
Biden is also projected to sign a new travel ban on Monday to prevent those traveling from South Africa from entering the United States.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories