Travel news latest: US confirms new testing policy for all overseas arrivals

testing at US airport – David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

    The White House has confirmed new testing rules for British visitors to the United States will come into force on Monday December 6.

    Among the new measures, all international air travellers must provide proof of a negative test taken within 24 hours of their flight – squeezing the time frame down from the current rule of 72 hours.

    Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the agency “must take quick and targeted action to help curtail the introduction and spread of the omicron variant into the United States.” The news comes as more cases of omicron are detected in the US, including in Hawaii and New York.

    Airlines are expected to be given a three-day grace period in order to permit travellers to return to the country with tests taken outside the new one-day window.

    The US has also extended its federal mandate on masks until mid March – under these rules all passengers on planes and trains aged two years and older, as well as employees, must wear a face mask on board.

    Travellers crossing the US land borders with Canada and Mexico will be exempt from the testing requirement and the Government is reportedly considering granting temporary exemptions to countries where access to same-day testing is limited.

    Follow the latest updates below.

    08:29 AM

    Visitors to Britain won’t have to take pre-departure Covid tests, says Grant Shapps

    Tourists will not be asked to take Covid tests before they arrive in the UK because the Government does not want to “kill off the travel sector without knowing that you need to,” Grant Shapps has said.

    The Transport Secretary also urged families to book holidays overseas as long as they have insurance and that so-called vaccine passports become the “norm for travel.”

    Listen to the interview with the ​Transport Secretary on Chopper's Politics podcast here.

    shapps and hopper – JULIAN SIMMONDS

    08:25 AM

    What happened yesterday?

    Before we begin, here's a reminder of Thursday's top stories:

    • Spain has banned all non-vaccinated Britons from entering the country

    • France, Portugal, Norway and the US are reintroducing testing requirements for arrivals, regardless of vaccination status

    • Leading operator Inghams has suspended all December ski holidays to Switzerland

    • Air investigators have issued a warning over pilots' lack of flying time after a 'serious incident' with a Tui jet

    Now, on with today's news.

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