As the Omicron COVID-19 variant arise globally, the White House reviewed the travel mandate, leaving them in a high state of confusion and doubts about whether to impose vaccine mandates for domestic air travel, especially as travel picks up for the holiday seasons.
The Biden Administration Figures out how to Deal with Travel Mandates this Coming Holiday Season
The discovery of the new variant left officials around the world struggling, leading to a steady stream of increased travel bans since the World Health Organization designated Omicron ” as a “variant of concern” on November 26.
Furthermore, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday “He wasn’t taking any options off the table, but he’s going to rely on the advice of his health and medical experts,” Referring to President Biden when asked why there aren’t testing or vaccination requirements for domestic air travel.
Furthermore, the president indicates a statement that consideration has been given to domestic flights requiring tests or vaccines in light of the upcoming Christmas travel period, saying that he will wait for the health experts to “give me a recommendation on that matter,” Biden said.
On the contrary, the house will not shut down the idea of the travel and vaccine mandates for domestic air travel or require testing even if it would be controversial and likely hotly contested. In addition, the health experts impose everyone in America to get vaccinated because that is the only way to keep themselves protected against the new variant.
All non-essential foreign visitors entering the U.S. by land or air have to be fully vaccinated, as a policy that was already implemented the first week of November to all essential foreign travelers into the U.S. required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 22. On the other hand for domestic travel, there is no imminent policy proposal regarding a domestic travel requirement and implementation yet.
The Countries are Responding to the New Variant As Well
Some other countries already abandoned flights from several southern African countries due to the high numbers of Omicron cases found in Africa, while others are imposing new quarantine restrictions methods on travelers arriving via certain destinations.
Japan has taken a more strict approach towards travel restrictions. the implementation was already starting November 30, they will no longer accept any non-citizens, including international students or people visiting family.