US Will Require International Travelers To Quarantine

Filed Under: Travel

It looks like the US may be significantly ramping up restrictions surrounding international travel. President Biden today outlined his administration’s plans for tackling coronavirus, and this includes an executive order that mandates a quarantine requirement for international travel.

The international travel quarantine requirement

It was recently announced that as of January 26, 2021, the US will start requiring coronavirus testing within three days of arriving in the US for all inbound international air travelers. Prior to that date, the US has absolutely no testing requirement for arriving international travelers.

That’s not all, though, as we knew that Biden wanted to increase restrictions surrounding travel, and we now know what that will look like. In addition to the testing requirement, international travelers will also have to quarantine upon arriving in the US, whether they’re visitors or returning home.

As Biden explains this change:

“Everyone flying to the United States from another country will need to get tested before they get on that plane, before they depart, and quarantine when they arrive in America.”

As of now there are more questions than answers:

  • When will the new US travel quarantine requirement become law?
  • How long of a quarantine will be required?
  • Will a quarantine be required regardless of the destination?

The US will require international travelers to quarantine

What we know so far about the quarantine requirement

So far we’re mostly just going off of what Biden said during his speech today, but it’s also worth looking at what’s in writing so far, in the White House’s coronavirus response strategy. It’s suggested that new policies should be implemented that comply with CDC guidelines for self-isolation and self-quarantine:

“Promote safe international travel. The United States will implement policies requiring international air travelers to produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to departing for the United States; and to comply with CDC guidelines for self-isolation and self-quarantine upon arrival.”

The reason we don’t have the details quite yet is because they’re still being worked out:

The Secretary of HHS, in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation (including through the Administrator of the FAA) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA), shall promptly provide to the President, through the COVID-19 Response Coordinator, a plan for how the Secretary and other Federal Government actors could implement the policy stated in subsection (a) of this section with respect to CDC-recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after a flight to the United States from a foreign country, as he deems appropriate and consistent with applicable law.”

In other words, the US will require a quarantine, but hasn’t yet decided exactly what that will look like. Rather the Secretary of HHS is being told to present Biden with a plan for implementing a quarantine requirement that’s in line with CDC recommendations.

It’s sounding like we should expect a mandatory quarantine after international travel (even if enforcement would likely be non-existent), though we don’t know about the timeline, or how exactly it will be implemented.

We’ll soon find out exactly how this quarantine will work

The CDC’s current international travel guidelines

The new quarantine requirements will be based on CDC guidelines. Interestingly as of now those guidelines don’t even uniformly recommend a quarantine after international travel. Rather the CDC recommends staying home for 10 days after any high risk activities, which includes the following:

  • Travel from a country or US territory with a Level 2, Level 3, or Level 4 Travel Health Notice
  • Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party
  • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade
  • Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters
  • Taking public transportation like trains or buses or being in transportation hubs like airports
  • Traveling on a cruise ship or river boat

In other words, the CDC currently recommends the same precautions whether you’ve taken a bus, gone to a crowded restaurants, or traveled internationally.

The quarantine requirement will follow CDC recommendations

This will almost certainly not be enforced

The other day I wrote about how Biden would be introducing more travel restrictions, and I speculated as to what those could be. In that post I noted that I hoped that any new restrictions would be enforceable and not arbitrary.

While we’ll have to wait for the full details, I can’t help but think that this new quarantine requirement will be unenforceable and rather arbitrary:

  • I can’t imagine the government will be enforcing the quarantine requirement in any way; some states (like New York) already have quarantine requirements, and they’re virtually unenforced
  • While I can appreciate the idea of this, it seems to me like this is about a year late, and counterproductive; is this to stop people from going to Mexico, and instead encourage them to go to Florida, because at least vacation destinations in Mexico have some capacity limits?
  • With the new testing requirement for international travel, those traveling internationally likely pose less risk than those traveling domestically, because at least they got tested at some point

New York hasn’t enforced its travel quarantine requirement very well

Bottom line

President Biden has made it clear that the US will require a quarantine for arriving international travelers, in addition to the new pre-travel testing requirement. However, it remains to be seen when this will become law, and how exactly it will be implemented.

I can’t say I’m a fan of a travel quarantine at this point, both due to how unenforceable it will likely be, and also given that it will just encourage more people to travel to places like Florida, which probably poses more of a risk than most international travel.

At the same time, I respect the fact that Biden is actually taking coronavirus seriously, rather than brushing it off as nothing…

What do you make of the new US international travel quarantine requirement?

  1. “Everyone flying to the United States from another country will need to get before they get on that plane, before they depart, and quarantine when they arrive in America.”


  2. I don’t understand why, at this point in the pandemic, this is necessary. Most countries have a lower Covid infection rate than the USA. If I fly and visit from where I live in Europe, my chances of being exposed to Covid are lower than if I were to just go grocery shopping in the USA. This will discourage business travel and hurt airlines. But I don’t see how it will save lives.

  3. @david

    The first “get” in that sentence is a transcription error. Biden actually said “test before they get on that plane.”

  4. Quarantining healthy people with negative covid tests who have no symptoms or signs of illness is simply imprisonment without due process. An outrage.

  5. Travel manager,
    a number of countries in western and central Europe are now seeing higher rates of infection per capita and also higher death rates per capita than the US.

    They have all had much stricter quarantine and/or testing requirements.

    The primary concentration of the virus right now is Europe and the US.

    The Netherlands just announced the most strict quarantine requirements and KLM cancelled its international network.

    This doesn’t protect anything.

    It does kill international travel.

  6. @Mak

    A negative test doesn’t mean you don’t have Covid. A lack of symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have Covid. Scientists have been saying this over and over again for months so it’s more than a little concerning that it needs saying again.

  7. Hopefully it’s a NYC style quarantine where you can test out of it after 4 days. If it’s a 2-week one, it’s not going to do anything as people are not going to follow it anyway… the way it’s enforced is basically a joke these days.

  8. This administration implores us to follow the science. So the logical question then is, what impact on COVID rates will this have? I think we know the answer.

    Look people. Once you realize this has little to do with COVID, it starts to make sense. Get used to it. It’s only day #2.

  9. From CNN: “Our national strategy is comprehensive, it’s based on science, not politics. It’s based on truth, not denial, and it’s detailed,” Biden said, speaking from the White House. He said the 198-page plan is posted on
    The plan for quarantine upon arrival was developed by a consultation with the most experienced and the brightest scientists and Dr. Fauci and is an essential component of this 198-page-long strategy. Once firmly in place, Covid-19 will be gone in 100 days. Just read the document!

  10. I can probably earn an equivalent medical degree in immunology just from reading these posts. Sooooo many experts.

  11. Unless the quarantine is enforced in specific, enumerated quarantine hotels, this is worthless. Look at the countries that have actually implemented true enforced quarantines like Singapore or Taiwan more than a year ago. First of all you cant even fly to these countries as a foreigner without an actual emergency reason (some short-term business travel excepted) – and even then you must test negative with a real, PCR-RT test (none of these rapid tests that are shown to be significantly less accurate). Then when you land at the airport you go through extensive health screening again, are placed into a government procured quarantine taxi which takes you to one of dozens of government approved quarantine hotels. Once at the hotel you stay inside the room for 14 days. Many hotels provide food dropped off outside your door three times a day, or you use the ubiquitous delivery apps to order food from outside. The government calls and or visits you every day to check on your health. That is a real quarantine. There have been a few people who have gone outside during their quarantine (including somebody who walked out on a balcony for 30 seconds – and was fined the equivalent of about $1,000 USD. As a result of these strict measures (and detailed contract tracing efforts) a country like Taiwan has had fewer than 10 deaths. The US has an equivalent (adjusting for population) number of deaths EVERY HOUR. For some reason the US government and people are not willing to do what is necessary to bring this under control.

  12. So many haters and entitled whiners here. I’m American+Canadian and am less than a week out of the two-week quarantine up here. I knew full well that the US might make a similar move under Biden, so I’ve been mentally preparing for when I go home next month. Yes, the US is a dumpster fire compared to other countries, but Biden is pulling out all the stops to make up for lost time of basically no pandemic control policy. He’s gonna overshoot in some places. This regrettably is a logical one.

    However, like others, I’m concerned about the lack of details and the enforcement mechanism. Here in Canada I had to check in daily on the ArriveCAN app, and got daily, sometimes multiple calls from provincial and/or federal authorities. I’d be shocked if the US could stand up anything like that in short order.

    Hopefully more details will be announced soon, and that a test-out option will be possible.

  13. The issue is the new administration is doing something trump should have done but failed to initiate months ago. As for enforcement, the US is huge and it’s difficult. Los Angeles County has a mandatory 10 quarantine for international arrivals. Do people follow it ? I’m sure the majority do , for their own health however there are , as we know , always idiots who don’t care.

    I’m South Korea it’s rigorously enforced with very efficient checks. In Japan too and the vast majority of people are respectful.

    The issue in the Netherlands is the second rapid test requirement 4 hours before departure. In a large number of cases it’s impossible if flights depart before 9am or the airports don’t have on site facilities. Most governments give crew exemptions, but the Dutch won’t. Night stops are impossible and if crew are positive they risk being stranded

  14. Covid tests can only find what is present from the tissue tested at that moment in time. The virus is in different concentrations in different tissues at different times. Sometimes the viral concentration is high in the nose/throat, sometimes it’s high in the kidneys, sometimes it is high enough to detect in the feces, etc. You can come home to the U.S. and have tested negative to a rapid oral swab test (approved by the U.S. but the least sensitive) and be infected but not have had enough of a concentration of the virus in the oral cavity to trigger a positive test. The logic behind the quarantine is that in the days of isolation the virus replication builds enough to be caught by another test or you get sick from it and are away from everyone else and can’t infect anyone. They can implement the second/third day test to release a traveler from quarantine with a pretty good idea that the person isn’t contagious.

  15. This is long due. Look at how Japan, South Korea did it and even Australia and Canada.

    I am sure this will be inconvenient for many people. But you cried about how Trump administration lacked capability to put this virus under control. And now Biden is going to do something serious and it inconveniences you yourself . Then you cry again. How funny. People are just so selfish.

  16. Great idea. It’s ridiculous that anyone would think a virus can be controlled through legislation. International travel is the least of our concerns. But hey, at least this positions Biden to take credit for containing the virus after warmer weather and vaccines cause the case counts to plummet, right?

  17. Self quarantine doesn’t work. Australia requires monitored quantine in hotel rooms with no balconies and windows that don’t open. 14 days, and there’s no way to get out of it. Australia also has no cases. Anything less than that is just stupid. That’s why the US is such a mess. A bunch of spoiled brats who care more about their “rights” than the lives of other people.

  18. Anyone know the answer to this regarding a covid test 3 days prior to flying to the US.

    If one is say doing a weekend trip to Mexico, and gets tested in the US on Thursday morning before leaving. Can one use the results of that test to get on the plane back to the US on Sunday? Or does the test have to be done in the country one is flying back from?

  19. Another post to show how selfish and arrogant US ppl are especially those who probably didn’t finish community college but using his poor logic and conspiracy to attack Infectious disease specialist’s efforts.

    This is not just about you, for the Nation to get back to its track requires everyone to make the same efforts no matter how little you think you are related to the virus.

  20. @derek self quarantine works if people like myself and many others respect it. It’s the minority of morons we worry about who don’t care about anyone else but themselves.

    @peetyrd if it’s within 3 days it shouldn’t matter provided you present a valid certificate. The likelihood is there will be more rigorous regulations between Mexico and the US , since Mexico has almost no restrictions presently. You shouldn’t be travelling just for a vacation and it should be essential – medical , compassionate, essential worker.

  21. @Icarus – Why do you feel that you have the right to tell some strangers where they can and can’t go? There has been no data showing that flying is a major spreader of COVID. Not sure why people think traveling is so dangerous. I would say where you’re going and what you’re doing when you get there is more important than someone actually flying somewhere. Using data and science, someone going to a beach destination in Mexico is probably safer than many cities in the US. How about you stop going to the grocery store to get food for your family before you tell someone not to go to Mexico?

  22. About time. Too bad this wasn’t implemented months ago. Hopefully vaccinations will be high by the fall and the threat of Covid very low and they can remove this restriction. I unfortunately think that this is a necessary precaution.

  23. @doublejada

    Please don’t use Canada as an example. Our Covid rate adjusted for population density is probably as bad or worse than most of the US. We are a bit lucky because we are mostly spread out enough but in the large cities it is a disaster zone.

    Statistics gathered in Canada over the last year with voluntary 14 day quarantines indicate that there is very poor compliance (<50%) without monitoring. Probably some of this is due to some people being less smart than a sack of hammers so think going to the store for toilet paper is still being in quarantine. Australia and China have been very successful because they drive you to lockdown and let you out 14 days later. No time off for good behavior.

    Is there any chance that US Airports can institute sterile transfers while this lockdown requirement is in place? I really want to travel to Maldives using Qatar from SEA but without sterile transfer I would probably be required to quarantine 14 days. I guess the second option is via Toronto or Montreal but these are covid hotzones that I want to avoid.

    Oh well, my vaccine will be scheduled for some time late 2021 so I guess travel this year is a no-fly-zone.

    Stay well.

  24. These orders seem overtly political – you can “follow the science” and realize that this subsequent layer of quarantine is both unnecessary and and impedes on American civil liberties.

    Look at the states that have taken an aggressive stance vs those that have been more reasonable. Outcomes don’t correlate. Lets also acknowledge all of the businesses and livelihoods that depend on travel.

    This virus is not going away, and people will need to learn to live with it like we have many that have come before it.

  25. @ Ziggy A negative test doesn’t mean you don’t have Covid. A lack of symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have Covid. Scientists have been saying this over and over again for months so it’s more than a little concerning that it needs saying again.

    Perhaps on some level, neither a negative test or a lack of symptoms eliminates some mathematical possibility that you still have covid. But it does mean that the chances that a returning traveler has Covid or will infect others is certainly less than that of the population at large – who don’t have a recent negative covid test – and we aren’t locking those people up (even if they have symptoms). The burden is upon those imprisoning healthy Covid negative citizens to demonstrate that it is worthwhile to take away their human rights, and the spectre of remote possibilities doesn’t come close to satisfying that standard.

  26. Not too many long haul international travelers out there at the moment in large part because of severe border restrictions overseas and entry requirements. The bigger question is whether international travel will ever return on any meaningful level with all these new and existing restrictions. On balance, the negative test before travel back to the USA is a larger logistic hurdle than a largely unenforceable quarantine upon return. What I would like to know is what the criteria is for eventually lifting the international COVID travel requirements, i.e., herd immunity, low US infection rate, etc. I get the sinking feeling we are at the mercy of our fellow citizens to take personal responsibility to wear masks to prevent infection spread, get vaccinated and to isolate when sick.

  27. Makes sense to me. However, the quarantine does need to be enforcable. Perhaps the USA could have mandatory hotel quarantine for those passengers arriving from hot spots (most of the world) combined with a less restrictions for those who arrive from “Safe” countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Fiji and such).

    Overall, the USA has missed the boat as far as lock downs go. It is just way too late now. The only hope is mass vaccination for the USA.

  28. All talks and no action. Incoming travelers need to be quarantined in government sponsored hotels for minimally 14 days (although 21 days will sure catch all of the positive ones as places like Taiwan are realizing 14 days are not catching everyone which lead to community spread right now). That way you can be sure there will be no one coming into US with covid because as if we don’t have enough people infected here already! Short of that, it’s all talk and no action.

  29. Important to note here that the federal government almost certainly doesn’t have the constitutional power to require a post-arrival quarantine. It possibly could be required as a condition of admission for non-citizens/residents. But not for US citizens.

  30. Agreed. This entire concept is such a joke as it is never enforced. People walk around with no masks and now seem to care less that there is any hazard to their lives.

  31. For heavens sake, please look outside the US and understand what has worked. Enforced quarantine is challenging but it has been successful and if you don’t think you can bear it, then don’t travel overseas.

    Australia’s death toll is less than 1000, New Zealand’s is 25. Yes, the populatons are signficantly smaller but the death tolls are staggeringly less when compared on a proportional basis. The focus in ‘safe” countries has been on the common good not an individual’s right to travel and potentially infect others.

  32. “ The countries and areas with the biggest lockdown and mask requirements are having the worst cases and death rates of covid.”

    This is not true. Hello from Australia where we recorded another day of zero locally acquired Covid cases.

  33. @1987 – Agree and worst than their not caring about their own risk, they put everyone else at risk. Today, I had to get a smog test, required by California Law to register my car, and they guy working at the smog check station got in my car without a mask and drove it. I was freaked out, even as someone who survived COVID 11 months ago. I drove home wearing a KN95 mask with all the windows open. And, of course, cleaned off all the surfaces when I returned home. People either don’t understand or they don’t care.

  34. Oh lockdowns work, but the problem is when you open up then cases rise again so its a very short term soltuion to what is now a long term problem. Nevermind the cancelled surgeries, mental health issues, suicides…

    The science works but it’s just not compatible with life as we know it. Unless you enforce 100% of quanratines, it’s useless. It only takes one person to infect many…then you have to keep people from gathering, going to work, going out… and we are back to the science just not being compatible with our lives even though we know it’s factually correct.

  35. @Luis …so is your contention that COVID traveled from China to Europe and the United States on a bird or something?

    Infected people traveling is THE LITERAL ACTUAL WAY that COVID spread.

  36. @Icarus, self quarantine doesn’t work exactly because of morons who don’t respect it and don’t comply.

    @Luis, where on earth did you
    Get the “facts” that planes don’t spread Covid? That is exactly how the virus spread from China to every country in the world. People like you who spew complete lies like that belong in jail. You are literally killing people by doing that.

  37. @ Storm — The Federal Government absolutely has constitutional power over quarantines as related to international or interstate travel. States have additional and separate powers, including the ability to compel isolation (which, as noted, is not the same as quarantine), but that doesn’t mean the Federal government lacks options of its own.

  38. @Ed

    thats cute that Australia and NZ have practically no cases. You’re both islands, and both shut your borders pretty much immediately (while Trump was railed as a xenophobic for shutting down China flights right away), & foreigners still can’t get in a year later. Great. For the rest of the planet that’s too interconnected, coupled with the amount of virus that’s collectively in the air right now, implementing these sorts of draconian lockdowns won’t make a bit of difference. The WHO still maintains that lockdowns don’t work, because they don’t at this point. That ship has sailed. Its vaccine or bust.

    The US has a population of 330 million people & 400K dead from this pandemic. If I’m getting COVID, I’m getting it because I live here, and the virus is here, not because I got on a plane or “arrived” from somewhere else. The one thing I’ve learned during this ordeal is never underestimate a governments’ ability to screw things up quickly.

  39. There is absolutely no way this makes it though a court challenge for US citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States. The US cannot deny a citizen re-entry.

  40. @Azamaraal – Sterile transfers will probably require US airports to be significantly redesigned. I’m no expert in this, but I doubt it.

    Also, I don’t see how connecting in the US is safer than connecting in TOR or Montreal. The entire US is a Covid hotspot.

  41. About what I expected. A heavy handed regulate approach. As the author notes, most of it is window dressing, no one is really going to follow these non evidence based diktats. Then again, we can all just go to Florida! Oh, and what about the wonderful vaccine? If you have proof of vaccination do you still need to follow these dumb ass rules? Can’t wait to see….

  42. Tiffany —

    None of those articles address this situation. Even if one could identify a constitutional basis for a federal quarantine order generally (and that is iffy in these circumstances), a quarantine that selects out international travelers for different treatment than domestic travelers wouldn’t even pass rational basis review — there is no articulable basis for treating someone arriving from (say) Australia differently than someone arriving from California. (In that case, the person presenting the lesser risk is quarantined).

    As I noted above, there is a path with respect to non-citizens/nationals, as it could be made a condition of their entry and the government has broad discretion there. But you can’t do that to a US citizen or permanent resident.

    I really don’t see this as even a close constitutional question. But it will likely never become an issue because I also doubt there will be a hard quarantine mandate. It will be some form of recommendation that builds off current CDC guidance.

  43. meh all symbolic at this point. With the amount of covid in the states, what is an unenforced quarantine really going to do? Just focus on vaccination.

    Back in February, I had planned to layover in Taiwan for 3 days. Unfortunately I had transited Hong Kong (1 hr layover) a week prior and was given the option to quarantine at a hotel at my cost or get on the next flight back home. I chose to cut my trip short and go home.

    A country like Taiwan took covid more seriously a year ago than the US does now. Sad.

  44. Yes
    its the international travellers who pose threats with all of those nasty variants
    It’s me spending 300 dollars each way for a PCR to see my family, it’s me spreading the virus
    It’s Not the millions of people that are still crowding the beaches in california, the parks, etc with their masks duly protecting their chins. (And don’t worry, if you want to see the updated pictures of the still crowded beaches and public spaces
    in LA -which now plays the martyr city role- i can share them with you)

  45. So this basically kills international travel and massively hurt airlines and its employees.

    Does this mean that the US government will continue to give handouts worth hundreds of billions to suffering airlines, or are they just gonna also keep paying me stimmy’s so I’ll shut up about it?

  46. Let me get this straight:
    I’ve gotten both doses of the Pfizer Vaccine 1.5 weeks ago
    I’ll need a negative Covid test to board the plane to go to the destination country.
    I’ll need a negative Covid test to board the plane to get back into the U.S.
    And THEN, I’ll need to quarantine for a period of time. That is not going to happen;.

  47. Unless the quarantine is enforced, it is highly unlikely to be respected. Just ask Newsom about his experience breaking his own rules.

    However given the current situation in the USA, if I was arriving from overseas and put in mandatory quarantine why would I ever want to leave quarantine? In New Zealand, Taiwan, etc at least you know once you finish quarantine your risk is negligible.

  48. @ Jim Babar — If you read the Executive Order signed today, it includes a directive to the State Department to start putting together guidance on what an international vaccine documentation protocol would look like. There will be quite a bit that has to go into making that a seamless (and legitimate) international process. Only something like 3% of the population has had the vaccine, and until a plurality of people have been vaccinated, pre/post travel testing and quarantine is still the most effective and reasonable approach.

  49. We get the government we deserve. If you hate Trump, well welcome Biden as he will destroy the travel industry even more. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  50. @nate

    Agree that some airports would be impossible to become sterile transfers. Bradley in LAX might be a possibility if they allowed flights to connect to Canada from there. I’ve been in some airports that have built sterile connections between terminals. But, as you point out, all the baggage handling and other support is not designed to separate transfer from arrival so big problem.

    Lack of sterile transfers has probably been one of the US Airlines biggest problems when they think of expansion. Flying through the US has always been a huge super pain for the last 50 years when travelling internationally. The year they brought in fingerprinting I was on a flight from the UK to Bahamas via MIA. Even though at the front of the airplane we were stuck in Immigration for 4 hours waiting for our turn. Missed three connecting flights but luckily managed to get on the last flight of the day.

    Your suggestion about transiting YUL or YYZ is valid – sort of. The problem is flight timing. Flying out of YVR would require a two hour transit in SEA to QR but flying through YUL or YYZ almost invariably requires an overnight. Pretty well any other route would be through LHR or FRA which would be impossible and also an overnight.

    When we fly to PVR we fly through SEA because the difference in airfare is more than 50% compared to WS or AC. And they also require overnights as well in either YYC or YYZ. So in the past we put up with it but since last March it has also become impossible.

    I guess its cheaper to get a sun lamp and turn up the heat but, like everyone, I sure wish it wasn’t so.


  51. @derek There’s a huge difference between patient zero introducing the virus to a population and today’s environment where the virus is running rampant throughout our country. If you can prevent it from ever being introduced, sure, travel restrictions make sense. But once it’s introduced, is there any evidence that COVID is more likely to spread via air travel than a trip to the grocery store, or a family gathering? All evidence I’ve seen indicates that former is a much more likely means of spreading the virus. Place international travel restrictions now is not going to make any difference.

  52. The UK has been in lock down for the past 3 months, and the numbers are increasing LOL!!

    A strict lockdown has been in place for over 4 weeks, so……

    So slowly people are starting to see its something else than what they are saying.

  53. @Matt Smith

    Examples of Australia and New Zealand being Islands are valid. But surprisingly one of the most secure nations at the moment is the one that caused the problem in the first place – China.

    Have you read the reports publish over the last few months of the lockdown entry protocols for entry into China? They are even more draconian that Australia – On arrival the military police drive you to one of two possible destinations: tested citizens are driven to their place of residence and then quarantined (possibly with a guard at the door). Foreigners are driven to their quarantine compound ‘hotel’ for as long as it takes. As a result, even though not an island, they have managed to do very well controlling the virus. (In some people’s view probably too well raising other questions).

    So Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have done very well (some better than others) but more because of their immigration procedures than the fact that they are islands.

  54. I hope they work out exceptions for people who have been vaccinated. I’m due to get my first dose next week and have business travel to Mexico and Europe planned for April, as I knew I would be fully vaccinated by then.

  55. @Matt Smith

    As @Azamaraal has said, the success in Australia and New Zealand is largely a result of immigration policies and the impact of those policies and internal lockdowns have been mitigated by government assistance, However, you also need to appreciate the cultural differences between the those countries ( wherethe populations have made sacrifices for the greater good) and US individualism.

    I appreciate policy makers must balance economic and health impacts, but an economy can never fully recover while the virus is running out of control. In WWII, 1 US soldier died every 5 minutes, while 4 US citizens die every 5 minutes from COVID.

    It is astounding that the US, as one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world has achieved such a dire outcome.


  56. My wife and I had covid-19 in December (much less severe than the regular flu, and in my daughter’s case and my wife’s case not as bad as a bad cold) and have the tests to prove it. We are flying to Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Figured it was the perfect time since prices are low and flights are half empty . What good exactly would putting us in quarantine for two weeks do? . Our antigen tests says we still have plenty of immunity , that’s how we are meeting the new requirements for entry into the USA after 1/26/21 because negative PCR test within 72hrs isn’t even possible in Bora Bora.
    So we’re going to need a negative Covetous within 72 hours prior to outbound flight leaving the United States, then 4 days after arrival in French Polynesia we have to get another self test and send it in to their government, and then to get on the plane to come back we’re going to have to either get another 72 hours prior to travel test, (which isn’t really possible), or in our case show them the letter from the doctor and the antigen test results. We will have been more tested and safer than probably 99% of the people at local grocery store or Mall.
    So how did we get the Cove Atlantis to begin with? From a nice young lady who had no symptoms and was sharing a hotel room with my daughter in Texas .

  57. If enforced, I actually think the US might make some money from the fines they charge people they catch.

  58. To follow on with what Peter said above. More Americans have now lost their lives to Covid in the USA than the American military due to World War two.

  59. LOL can’t believe OMAAT censored my response. I guess someone can falsely accuse me of murder w/o issue but if I dare call someone a snowflake, I get censored. I guess this is the new world order. We just censor anyone whose narrative doesn’t align with yours.

  60. Lol.
    No one will listen (rolling my eyes).
    Except maybe blues.
    Just creates more confusion and division.
    But OK.
    Fine by me.
    Thank you Biden.

  61. The question as to whether or not a test would still be required even if you have the vaccine depends on whether you can still act as a viral host for the China flu. The vaccine to my knowledge only immunized you, but you could still spread it if in contact with it.

  62. I just looked at the seat map of AA51 LHR-DFW on Jan 28 – there are 2 seats shown occupied in J and may be 30 in Y? The only other flight from London to DFW is BA. Even if all of these passengers come to US with Covid-19 they will not make a dent in the pandemic in US because of the huge number of current cases. Of course, it would be different if US would have no cases at all (like New Zealand). One would argue that each life matters and even if we save one life it would be worth of doing. Then let’s quarantine everyone forever. Flu will be gone 100% and so sexually transmitted diseases. Numerous lives will be saved.
    The proposed Covid tests and quarantine restrictions are a predictable knee-jerk reaction of the new administration to show that they will turn heaven on earth to fight the pandemic regardless whether it makes any sense.

  63. US citizen who has had 2nd vaccination & will have a negative test before flying back to the US still required to quarantine? …. just because the administration can require something doesn’t mean it makes sense…..

  64. @Matt Smith, I’m a dual Australian and American citizen. Australians have kept our country safe from covid because we actually followed the guidelines of our public health officials. It wasn’t easy. And there was nothing “cute” about it. We did real lockdowns. Real quarantine, not pretend “self guided” quarantines. We wear masks, we all made sacrifices. The difference between Australia and America is not out geography or population size. The real difference is that americans are a bunch of spoiled little brats who do not really care about each other. You live with homeless people sleeping in your streets, and you think nothing of it. You live with millions of people dying from lack of health care, and you could care less as you go about your day. Americans could stop this virus in its tracks, right now. But the truth, you don’t want to put in the real effort that is required to do so. That means you do not travel, at all. You stay home, all day. You literally do have to change your life, so that others don’t die. The truth is, like many Americans, you probably would rather that others die so that it doesn’t Inconvenience you. And that is why you are sitting in a viral soup right now with the virus circulating everywhere. You were just too lazy, spoiled and over privileged to care. And now your in a real mess. You got exactly what you deserved to get.

  65. @Luis, sounds like you are the real snowflake. And as far as I’m concerned, anyone who runs around telling people it’s perfectly safe to jump in a
    Plane and go to mexico on a holiday right now is a murderer. And you do belong in jail.

  66. This step is long-overdue, and a good first step — but it’s just a first step. I’d like to see some serious enforcement teeth: Pick out a few people who ignore the quarantine, and make an example of them so everybody gets the message and takes it seriously. Maybe a $1,000 fine for the first offense, multiply fines by 10X for each subsequent offense. No exceptions.

    May we have some more, please?

  67. This whole mess just wears me out. I just renewed Global Entry, and my shiny new ($1000USD thanks to CBIT) passport is due next week. All dressed up and nowhere to go … Testes before flight, tests after flight, unenforceable and unconstitutional quarantines are counterproductive. Let my people go (to the Four Seasons)!

  68. I think the idea is to discourage international travel to reduce the probability of new mutations to arrive. The South African mutation hasn’t been detected in the US, but it is known to be more aggressive v

  69. @Timo bruh… you haven’t seen nothing yet. Not the first time he pops on here to spew his anger and disdain at the world in the toxic-est shape possible.
    If there was an award for the most entitled dramatic and salty person in the world – this kind soul would take it by a margin previously thought statistically impossible and I guarantee you that’s without any voter fraud.

    On the subject though – agree this doesn’t make any sense at this point in time. With the amounts of virus in the US right now, quarantining the very few(relative to local sick #s) people who get there by the safest transportation means just won’t make a difference. Somebody said US just needs to focus on vaccinations at this point and sadly it looks like the only option.

    Like a few others above, I’d also like to see what happens on the legislative/court level. I’m in favor of some kind of reasonable control measures, but I don’t see any legal basis at all to blatantly deny entry to US citizens. This sounds as unconstitutional as it gets. For those of you who believe it’s doable and who know more on the subject – honest and serious question, can you explain how this would work? What law/provision allow for it?

  70. @derek – I completely agree with all your points above.

    So yes, OK, start with HUGE fines (US$10,000 per person, including family members) and go up from there (fines should double for each subsequent violation…it shouldn’t take long for repeat-offenders to learn the lesson). Nail a few quarantine breakers, give them their 15 minutes of social media fame, and people will start to get the message. And, to incentivize reporting, give a slice of the fine (say, 10%) as a bounty to neighbors and co-workers who turn in quarantine breakers.

    I’m told that in Canada, where a quarantine has been in effect for months, it’s not uncommon for neighbors and co-workers to turn in people they suspect of breaking quarantine. Let’s have some of that too.

  71. According to a study by Rand, during the initial phases of the pandemic, cases in China were likely 37 times higher than the Chinese Govenrment had stated and sick people were allowed to travel by air, spreading the virus internationally. However, since that time, research in Europe has only documented 44 cases of COVID-19 tied to air travel.

    Florida which has not significantly locked down has a death rate per million a bit over 1000. New York and New Jersey, which have basically locked down most of the year, have more than twice that rate of mortality. This quarantine order will have ZERO impact on the rate of mortality in the US, just as hard lockdowns have done nothing to prevent Belgium from having the highest overall mortality rate in the world.

    You simply cannot compare the actions of an island nation in an equatorial climate that already is minimally impacted by seasonal flu to the rates of transmission in the US, Europe, and Asia which have large annual rates of flu transmission in winter.

    Further, there is no statistical impact tied to quarantines, lockdowns, masks, or travel restrictions in the US and Europe. If anyone tells you there is they are lying, or citing an observational study that is not statistically driven.

    Simply, warmer climates where people spend more time outdoors in the northern hemisphere with sunlight have lower rates of transmission. Period. Some of this does seem to correlate to vitamin D concentrations, along with 85% of transmission occurring due to long term exposure in doors, and the virus being susceptible to UV light outdoors.

    California is locked down, Florida is not. California, despite draconian measures putting millions of business owners out of work, is now having its first spike of outbreak despite the lockdown and quarantine. Yet, California has overtaken Florida in daily deaths per million last week.

    Statistically, being in a 1/2 full business class section with a plane only flying people with clear PCR tests is one of the safest places in the world for Covid infection.

    This quarantine for international air travel is theater. It will accomplish nothing to manage the pandemic.

  72. The quarantine makes sense if you want to keep out new foreign bred variants that the world is recognizing. Having the vaccine doesn’t guarantee that it will prevent you from being a carrier.

  73. From someone who has had Covid, you dont want to catch it, also some folk are plain(Plane) Stupid, that they will get on flight knowing they have it? anyway I think, to have pre test to show you are negative,(72 hours prior) is good, they 3/4 days after you arrive from abroad, do anothe test, which is what they do in Barbados,,so you arrive in USA and isolate , till tesyt come back negative,. Now also ifr you have had the Virus, (with in say last 6 months)no need to isolate more than a couple of days,or you have had the Vaccine . Its going to be difficult, but soon as Vaccines roll out the better, but still safeguard, with masks wahing etc, staying apart, till covid gone,as we don,t need a new strain, that the vaccine doesnt work against, gertie

  74. Its meaningless fluff to make it seem like they have any new plans to stop the virus.

    The same as the “100 million vaccines in 100 days” pledge yesterday…which is currently the pace America is vaccinating…if nothing changes we will pass his threshold easily……

    But news won’t say its not enforceable….and the one reporter that asked is that not the current pace we are on…..was shut down

    People will think all these grand plans are in place and that Joe Biden has it undercontroll….and why wouldn’t they now that Democrat states have now decided it safe to open up and get kids to school..when they have the highest numbers in months..only thing changed was who they wanted to give the Win to

    Playing politics with real peoples lives….. its pretty disgusting

  75. Right, because virus travels with a map in its hand and chooses its victims by their travel patterns.

    This border fetish is ridiculous. Crossing a line on a map has no impact whatsoever.

  76. In Jamaica you have to take one before. Not everyone tho. They will tell you if your states is the lost…you upload test…when you arrive they take another test

    Then you go on to your destination…they have opened up the entertainment zones….all the resorts. …you can move freely in those zone….about 6 hour later they let you know your results…if you are negative…thats it your free to go where ever…. if you are positive…you go to some sort of quarentine facility for ten days

    its easier to monitor them the majority are going to stay on the resorts

  77. Quarantine alone is only a measure to deter people from travelling. If they are serious about controlling the pandemic, the quarantine should be limited to 5 days, with a test at the end, releasing the traveller from the quarantine in case of negative result.

    But I doubt their objective is actually controlling the pandemic.

  78. Thats really gonna suck for the airlines. I cant imagine the further disruption and monetary hit that the airlines are going to suffer.

    Since I suppose people have to fly the planes, and there are other humans in the cabins spray fogging the paying passengers, providing tests results and quarantine upon arrival in the US at FPOE, will be a lot of fun, especially for the crews that live on the other side of the country

  79. More fodder for the feeble minded CNN panic porn induced masses. Unless this is enforced it like many other measures be a joke. A sign at airports that people ignore. What I don’t understand if they government is serious about this why wouldn’t a custom officer require proof of quarantine before a traveler is admitted into US borders.

  80. All over Europe and Middle East and Asia , governments have required quarantine for incoming travellers since March 2020. We are used to it and although it is a pain in the a*** ,most of us in EU accept our governments laws.
    It is one way to prevent the spread of the virus.
    In Cyprus where I live, we had to quarantine when we cam back from an overseas trip in summer , there were military in the hotel corridors where we had to stay until our test on arrival was clear ( 2 days in hotel bedroom , meals delivered to room ). If we left the room , it was against the law and a fine of Euro 300 per person per violation. Then when test was clear , we had to isolate at home for 2 weeks and not allowed out . Groceries delivered from online shopping. We did not complain, just part of the procedure to keep us all safe . You guys in USA have no idea how the rest of the world has been complying with government quarantine regulations , Trump did not impose strict regulations because he did not believe coronavirus was real . Biden is doing what should have been done in USA 10 months back.

  81. I wish you guys would stop recommending this be enforced. Let’s not give them ideas. TSA anyone? Do you want another one of those banging on your front door?

  82. More political theater… The WHO has already updated their criteria this week for what Covid-positive means admitting that false-positives are creating a problem ( A positive test does not mean you have Covid. The WHO now states Positive Test + Second Positive Test + Clinician seeing symptoms = Covid infection. Which begs the question why anyone would have the quarantine if they are negative. And the US is back in the WHO now…so hopefully, our travel rules will align with the new guidance.

  83. For all the orange-hat-wearing complainers, and those who say that international travel is no risk…this should actually be applied to all flights, including all domestic flights, too, but this is at least a good first step.

    Travel itself spreads the pandemic, whether you’re flying to London or Orlando. Because you’re out swapping air with infected idiots, not just on the plane, but in crowded public spaces all along the way (throughout the airports, on transit, etc.) coming and going, and there are infected idiots in all those spaces swapping air with you. If you look at the data, you can clearly see spikes in the pandemic 10-14 days after every holiday…because at holidays, people ignore common sense public health measures and they fly someplace needlessly.

    I support these measures, and hope they are expanded to include all domestic flights, too. Nonessential travel makes the pandemic worse and only delays the day when we get the pandemic under control. Period. If you want to be able to travel for fun without masks, without quarantines, and without endangering the lives of those at home and in your destination, stay the #%*! at home unless going somewhere is really essential (and vacations are not). It’s not going to kill you to give up your precious vacation for a while, like countless others who are more responsible than you have been doing. If you insist on taking a vacation, accept the inconvenience of quarantining, and follow the rules. Somehow, Canadians have survived this draconian requirement, and you can too.

  84. @Dick Bupkiss

    Holiday was a problem because people were spending time indoors with family/friends not because they were outdoors.
    Remember the BLM protests this past summer – tons of people outdoors, zero social distancing, loud yelling, people traveling to protests, yet no spikes like now. The only difference was the weather. People need to be outdoors to boost their vitamin D levels.

  85. Hi all! I have a a question, what if I need to travel to the US for personal business for 3 days. I am allowed to travel back? Or need to stay for 7 days? Has anybody info about this situation?

  86. Experienced traveller – You said “It is one way to prevent the spread of the virus.”

    Please provide any proof that it is preventing any spread of the virus.

    IMO extraordinary burden on citizens requires extraordinary proof by the government – and they have none that they work, nor masks work, or really ANYTHING they’ve done works. Social distancing, washing hands thoroughly and cleaning counters are the only thing we know for certain that works to prevent the spread and those can be done without any draconian action at all. Florida, despite having a significantly older population than NY/NJ (which should massively increase the death rate, has very few limits and has lots of tourist still coming in, yet has a low death rate per capita (less than half NY/NJ) and a significantly lower infection rate over the last 12 months than every state that has had draconian government regulations. I predict the history books will not be kind to these government actions all over the world.

    (PS even if quarantines made since back in March, that ship has long since sailed since the virus is everywhere and given they will have *just* had a covid tests, makes no sense.)

  87. @Dick Bupkiss,
    why don’t you just stay inside your house for the foreseeable future? safer for you, safer (and dare I say – more pleasant?) for others…this way you don’t have to “swap air with infected idiots”

  88. The US Supreme Court case that established the right of the government to set quarantines in the name of public health is Compagnie Francaise de Navigation a Vapeur v. Louisiana Board of Health in 1902. While there have been a few additional cases involving some fine details of how it is applied, the base decision is considered to be settled case law at the federal level and it seems to indeed allow for quarantine on arrival policies.

  89. Does anyone know if quarantine will apply to travelers in transit via the same airport in the USA? I have friends trying to get to Mexico from Mongolia.

  90. Covid is not going anywhere! Quaranantines at this point would just SUCK! I really wish the new variant didn’t just show up because otherwise we have no reason to do any quarantining when this country has high infection rates and seems that many states are seeming to be doing sort of ok – flattened the curve that it isn’t a massacre but people are still living in ways that we are reducing the spread and not destroying all business and life as we know it. Use our safety tools to allow people to live.masks, tests , social distance, whatever. Draconian measures are simply unfair as they often throw common sense and people’s livelihoods out the window.

  91. Scenario: We go to Cancun. Already have our vehicle parked at a park and fly hotel for the week. We visit Cancun; we test negative, fly back to the states. Mind you, that test alone is mandated by the government.

    We return and are shuttled off for two weeks to a hotel, again, mandated by the government. Meanwhile, our car parking is now getting billed, and we’re stuck in some hotel for two weeks.

    Point being, I feel that since all of these new regs are in place, the government should be funding our stay in a hotel during THEIR quarantine mandate. It’s either that or we would simply NOT PAY for our 2 week stay. I really don’t care about credit scores.

  92. Do you think that once the numbers related to this particular virus decline that the mask mandate will be relaxed? After all, you never know when the next coronavirus is going to escape a bat somewhere in a cave in China. Could happen anytime. Better mask up, forever. You can never be too safe you know.

  93. Not only masks but social distancing. Restaurants mandated permanently at no more than 25% capacity. Planes’ middle seats blocked forever. Counters at the doors of every retail.
    Until we get better tech that is. Instead of counters, your government-mandated wearable tech provides continual monitoring.
    Can never be too safe. Safety first. It sounds dystopian, but It’s for our own good.

  94. According to USA Today ” No, there is no mandatory quarantine when you return to or arrive in the United States”, but then posts ‘Biden’s executive order states that travelers arriving in the U.S. from an international destination are “required to comply with other applicable CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.”’

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