Travel news latest: US confirms new testing policy for all overseas arrivals

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The White House has confirmed new testing rules for British visitors to the United States will come into force on Monday December 6.

Among the new measures, all international air travellers must provide proof of a negative test taken within 24 hours of their flight – squeezing the time frame down from the current rule of 72 hours. 

Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the agency “must take quick and targeted action to help curtail the introduction and spread of the omicron variant into the United States.” The news comes as more cases of omicron are detected in the US, including in Hawaii and New York.

Airlines are expected to be given a three-day grace period in order to permit travellers to return to the country with tests taken outside the new one-day window.

The US has also extended its federal mandate on masks until mid March – under these rules all passengers on planes and trains aged two years and older, as well as employees, must wear a face mask on board.

Travellers crossing the US land borders with Canada and Mexico will be exempt from the testing requirement and the Government is reportedly considering granting temporary exemptions to countries where access to same-day testing is limited.

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