Travellers entering the US from abroad will from “early next week” have to present the negative result from a Covid test taken within 24 hours of departure in order to begin their journey, a White House official has said.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce the change later today (December 2).
This will apply to all travellers, including US citizens, and it applies regardless of vaccination status.
Previously, tests could be taken in the 72 hours before travel for vaccinated travellers, while the unvaccinated have always been required to take one within 24 hours of departure.
In general, US borders are only open to vaccinated travellers, but unvaccinated people can enter under certain conditions, for example, if they are allergic to the vaccines.
Under-18s are currently exempt from vaccination requirements, but must take a test if they are over two years of age.
A government source has also said that the Biden administration will be extending mask-wearing on all trains, planes and other public transport and in airports and transit stations until mid-March.
The US’ first Omicron case was confirmed yesterday, and today’s announcement is also expected to outline a wider series of measures aimed at curbing the spread of Covid.