President Joe Biden is reimposing a ban on many non-U.S. citizens from entering the country. Former President Donald Trump lifted the ban two days before his presidency ended. Biden’s order rescinds that decision.

During his first full day in office, President Biden reinstated the travel restrictions as part of his Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.
“Obviously, coming on top of the CDC’s January 12 announcement, this order creates additional uncertainty for your business as well as your clients. Of the items above, we can say with certainty that the mask mandate and the CDC’s January 12 order will go into effect (though small tweaks are possible). What the other items will ultimately look like – quarantine requirements, international rules, etc. – remains to be seen and will take time to develop with the new administration just coming in,” said the ASTA in a statement.

The order includes a mask mandate requiring face coverings be worn in airports, on commercial aircraft, trains, ferries, buses and other forms of public transportation.

President Biden’s order makes no changes to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) rule going into effect on January 26 requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test for all air passengers, including U.S. citizens, arriving from a foreign country.

The order calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consult with appropriate federal agencies regarding CDC-recommended self-quarantine periods or self-isolation after a flight to the United States from a foreign country.

The order also calls on the Secretary of State to consult with foreign governments, the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, and any other relevant stakeholders to establish guidelines for public health measures associated with safe international travel. This consultation will include “the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) and producing electronic versions of ICVPs.” This type of international harmonization will take time, but industry insiders feel it is vital to fully restarting international travel.

For a look at the optimism inspired by the Biden-Harris administration, click here. ASTA has launched a grassroots campaign specifically on the CDC’s testing order. Information can be accessed here.