Biden Announces New COVID-19 Travel Rules

Headline Roundup December 2nd, 2021

Amid the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, President Joe Biden on Thursday announced new rules for domestic and international travel.

Beginning Monday, travelers entering the country by air must now test negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of departure, regardless of vaccination status or nationality. The previous rule required a negative test within 72 hours of departure. The mask mandate for airplanes, trains and public transportation was extended through March 18, past its previous expiration date of Jan. 18. Biden said the requirements, along with new efforts to encourage vaccinations, "pulls no punches in the fight against COVID-19" and "should unite us." The Washington Post (Lean Left bias) reported Tuesday that the White House also considered a requirement for returning travelers to self-quarantine for seven days, even if their pre-flight test results were negative.

The news was covered across the spectrum Thursday. Some reports, mostly from left- and center-rated outlets but also elsewhere, highlighted how Biden didn't announce new or expanded vaccine requirements. Some right-rated outlets framed the new rules as being less strict than anticipated, and highlighted questioning of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the southern Africa travel ban. One article from Fox News (Right bias) focused on how Psaki said "nothing is off the table" for travel requirements, and framed that as her saying a "vaccine requirement for domestic travel is still on the table."

From the Right
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President Biden on Thursday announced a COVID-19 “winter plan” that imposes new, but less strict than feared, international travel rules and mandates that health insurance companies pay for at-home COVID-19 rapid tests.

Air travelers to the US will have to test negative for the virus within one day of their flight, rather than within three days, but Biden opted against more draconian ideas reportedly under review amid fears about the potentially more contagious Omicron variant.

“We developed this plan and it doesn’t include shutdowns or lockdowns, but widespread vaccinations and boosters and testing a...

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From the Center
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The Biden administration is tightening travel rules to and within the U.S., requiring all in-bound international passengers to test for Covid within 24 hours of departure and extending its mask requirement on all domestic flights and public transportation through March 18.

The changes were announced Thursday as part of a broader plan to bolster the nation’s arsenal of tools in its fight against the virus as the world enters its third year of the pandemic. 

The plan is also the latest move by the Biden administration to stem the spread...

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From the Left
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Tighter travel rules, free at-home tests and booster shots are key elements of President Joe Biden's latest strategy to combat the rapidly evolving coronavirus.

Biden said his plan to get through the winter months, which he promoted during a visit to the National Institutes of Health on Thursday, is one that "all Americans hopefully can rally around."

"My plan I’m announcing today pulls no punches in the fight against COVID-19," Biden said. "It's a plan that I think should unite us."

Biden emphasized that he was not expanding or adding...

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