Jamaicans, along with all other international travelers, are now required to quarantine on arrival in the United States.
In addition, US agencies have been mandated to implement the wearing of masks on interstate transportation throughout that country.
The new rules are contained in an executive order signed by US President Joe Biden as he stepped up efforts to fight COVID-19 which has so far claimed more than 400,000 lives in the US.
“In addition to wearing masks, everyone flying to the United States from another country will need to test before they get on that plane, before they depart, and quarantine when they arrive in America,” stated Biden.
He was speaking to journalists at a press conference from the Oval Office.
According to Reuters, Biden’s order stated that “to the extent feasible, air travelers must comply with applicable US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine.”
However, the order does not explain how it will be enforced.
To date, the CDC had recommended a seven-day quarantine for people arriving in the US from other countries.
The new COVID-19 testing requirements for International air travelers are to begin on Tuesday, following a CDC order which was made last week.
The new rules require all US-bound passengers, aged two years and over, to get a negative COVID-19 test results within three days of travel to that country.
In relation to the requirement of wearing masks during interstate travel in the US, “the order calls on agencies to immediately take action to require masks on or in airports, commercial aircraft, trains, public maritime vessels, including ferries, intercity bus services and all public transportation, but grants them the ability to issue exemptions,” Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration stated that it will re-impose entry bans on US citizens returning from Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and most other European countries.
Two days before his exit as US President, Donald Trump issued an order lifting the entry bans on those countries that would take effect on Tuesday when the new testing rules are to become mandatory.
Brazil and the United Kingdom have reported new variants of the corona virus.
Locally, 20 persons who were among passengers on a flight from the UK to Jamaica in December, later tested positive for COVID-19, including four with the UK strain of the virus. It is not clear whether those four individuals have since recovered from that strain of the virus.