US MAKES IT MANDATORY TO ALL INCOMING PASSENGERS TO CARRY COVID NEGATIVE REPORT

The U.S. has made it mandatory for all incoming passengers, including those from India, to carry a negative COVID-19 test report or a proof of recovery from the contagion amidst rising number of cases of the new Omicron variant.

The new protocol comes into effect from December 6, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said.

“This amendment updates COVID-19 testing requirements for air passengers 2 years or older boarding a flight to the United States,” Indian government officials informed Indian-American community leaders on Saturday.

“Air passengers will also be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true,” officials said.

The 1-day period is 1 day before the flight’s departure. The order uses a 1-day time frame instead of 24 hours to provide more flexibility to the air passenger and aircraft operator.

By using a 1-day window, test acceptability does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test sample was taken, the circular explained.

For example, flight AI191/(BOM-EWR) is at 01:30 AM IST on a Tuesday, passengers could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the 1 calendar day prior Tuesday i.e., on Monday, it said.

On Saturday, New York detected three more cases of the omicron variant, bringing the total number of the state’s cases to eight. Seven of the new cases have been found in New York City.

“The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread,” state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement.

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