WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – Travelers are staying positive, despite omicron cases now in more than 20 countries.
Its prompted the Biden Administration to implement a new order, tightening pre-departure testing protocols for flyers coming to the U.S. That includes Americans too.
Beginning Monday, international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will need to get tested and show a negative result to the airline before boarding a flight. You can also show documentation proving you recovered from COVID in the past 90 days. Also, at airports, the federal mask requirement has been extended until mid-March.
“Its another common sense precaution sticking with the masks for a while, its a new virus so we are still learning,” said Carolyn Leach of Gales Ferry, Connecticut.
The U.S. travel ban is in effect for 8 African countries, but some believe a negative test should be enough for them to enter the U.S.
“The students from our school are from different countries,” said Seykou Rowland, a Deerfield Academy Football Player. “International travel is still important so I think people from Africa should still be able to come if they test negative.”
With the busy travel holiday season approaching, hospitals are monitoring omicron and are preparing for more cases.
“There is concern that we could see an increase in cases, not necessarily because of omicron but also because of the increase in travel and gathering,” said Dr. Megan Gallagher, Infectious Disease Physician for Baystate Medical Center. “We are keeping a close eye on level of cases.”
The CDC says you should avoid traveling if you feel sick or are waiting the result of a COVID-19 test. Fully vaccinated individuals are still at increased risk for contracting and spreading omicron and other variants.