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U.S. Extends Mask Mandate for Travelers

Stricter testing guidelines to begin for flights into the U.S.

The U.S. mandate for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses as well as airports and train stations will be extended until mid-March, the White House announced Thursday morning. It's also enacting tighter testing restrictions for people flying into the U.S.

Reuters and The New York Times were first to report on the development Wednesday, on the same day the U.S. officially identified the first case of the new omicron variant in the country.

Beginning the week of Dec. 6, Biden said, all travelers to the U.S., regardless of nationality or vaccination status, will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of boarding flights. That compares with three days now for those who have been vaccinated. The White House has shelved tougher options such as requiring post-arrival testing or requiring quarantines upon arrival in the U.S.

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