The US has made it mandatory for all incoming passengers, including those from India, to carry a negative COVID-19 test report or a proof of recovery from the contagion amidst rising number of cases of the new Omicron variant.

This amendment updates COVID-19 testing requirements for air passengers 2 years or older boarding a flight to the United States, Indian government officials informed Indian-American community leaders on Saturday.

The new protocol comes into effect from December 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  within the Department of Health and Human Services  has said.

Documentation of a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test result from specimen collected no more than 1 calendar day preceding the passenger’s flight to the United States or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, before they board their flight.

As per the new amended order, effectively for flights departing to the US from a foreign country at or after 12:01 AM EST on December 6, 2021, passengers are required show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than 1 day before travel.

 Officials said, Air passengers will also be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true,The 1-day period is 1 day before the flight’s departure. The order uses a 1-day time frame instead of 24 hours to provide more flexibility to the air passenger and aircraft operator.

 On Saturday, New York detected three more cases of the omicron variant, bringing the total number of the state’s cases to eight. Seven of the new cases have been found in New York City.

Massachusetts and Washington announced their first cases on Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reported their first cases.State  Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement “The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread”.

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