The detection of COVID-19's new variant, Omicron, has put the entire world on the edge. After having learned some lessons the hard way, most countries are upping their shield in a bid to slow down the spread of Omicron before it's too late. Now, the United States government has imposed new testing requirements for all international passengers, which come into effect from December 6, 2021.

US President Joe Biden announced that all inbound international travelers must test within one day of departure — regardless of vaccination status or nationality. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of protection as scientists continue to study the Omicron variant."

Southwest Airlines

New guidelines for international passengers

As per the new rules, a copy of which was obtained by IBTimes, all international air travelers arriving in the US must obtain a COVID-19 negative test result not older than one day. This amendment includes air passengers aged two years and above.

Alternatively, air passengers arriving in the US must show documented evidence of having recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days before they board the flight. Passengers will also be required to sign a Form of Attestation to convey the information provided is true.


"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 order read.

Consistent with the earlier order, air passengers arriving in the US must hold proof of being fully vaccinated and of being excepted from the requirement to be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19.

Previously, vaccinated international passengers could enter the United States with a COVID-19 test result not older than three days. The US also banned entry for foreigners traveling from eight South African countries in view of the Omicron cases.