In response to the spread of the new “omicron” SARS-CoV-2 (“coronavirus”) variant, on December 2, 2021, U.S. President Joseph Biden announced that all travelers aged 2 and over flying into the United States from another country (international) will be required to demonstrate proof of a negative PCR or antigen test administered within one day prior to their flight.1 This rule applies to all travelers regardless of citizenship or vaccination status and will take effect at 12:01 a.m. (EST) on Monday, December 6, 2021.
WHY THIS MATTERS
U.S.-bound travelers should remain vigilant as to the ever-changing entry policies, such as this new change to the testing timeline, to help ensure that their travel plans remain as seamless as possible. Travelers should plan well in advance where and when their test will be administered so that they may avoid flight delays and rescheduling issues.
The change from testing three days in advance to a single day could make finding and scheduling a location for a test even more difficult, so travelers are strongly urged to do so well in advance of their travel date.
As the Biden Administration continues to evaluate its strategy to contain and address the coronavirus pandemic, it is anticipated that there will be continuing updates to the U.S. travel restrictions and entry requirements, thus creating uncertainty among employers and their global workforce. In light of the evolving travel regulations, it is important for foreign nationals in the United States to re-evaluate the necessity of their international trips.
Individuals may be unable to re-enter the U.S. should the administration unexpectedly adopt additional measures to its travel regulations. Furthermore, there may be unforeseen circumstances making it difficult to comply with the new one-day, pre-departure, negative test requirement.
Given the fluidity of the circumstances, it may be prudent to remain in the U.S. and avoid international travel where possible.
KPMG Law LLP in Canada is tracking this matter closely. We will endeavor to keep readers of GMS Flash Alert posted on future important developments when they occur.
1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "CDC Tightens Testing Requirement for International Travel to the US to One Day" (December 2, 2021). Also see, the White House, “Remarks by President Biden on the COVID-19 Winter Plan” (December 2, 2021).
Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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