Biden Administration

Travelers React to Biden Administration's New Travel Requirements

Regardless of vaccine status or citizenship, all passengers have to take a COVID-19 test within a day of their flight

NBC Universal, Inc.

The itinerary for your last day of vacation abroad is about to change to meet the Biden administration’s new international travel requirements.

Regardless of vaccine status or citizenship, all international travelers inbound to the U.S. have to take a COVID-19 test within one day of their flight starting Dec. 6. Proof of a negative test must be provided before passengers can board.

Travelers have had a few days to process and prepare for these changes in the rules. The people NBC 7 talked to said while it won’t keep them from going on trips, it will create a bit of a headache.

Brooke Chrisler had to test before her honeymoon in Barbados both when she arrived to her destination and 72 hours before she departed for the states.

“Just to make sure that you get that test back, results back quickly enough before your flight so you don’t miss it,” said Chrisler. “It wasn’t easy to get there so we had to go through some hoops, you know with COVID going on.”

The current 72-hour testing window can already complicate things, and that window will be shorter starting Jan 6.

Anton Thorbjornsson and Melissa Thormon were supposed to be in London on Sunday. Instead, they lost two days of their trip because their negative COVID tests didn’t have the appropriate timestamp.

“So we had to test again. Pay like $300 and we are leaving today instead of yesterday,” said Thorbjornsson.

They told NBC 7 they are not looking forward to the even shorter time frame on their return to San Diego.

“If you pay money, obviously you’ll get it quicker. It’s all about money at the end of the day,” said Thormon.

Anand Ammundi is traveling back to San Francisco. Meanwhile, his wife is in India and still has to figure out the faster test turnaround.

“For once I’m not the one making the decisions. She can’t blame me. She can blame Biden,” said Ammundi.

The stricter rules were announced Thursday as the omicron variant landed in the U.S.

“It is worth it, though, if we can help people be safe. I mean, yeah, it’s not fun doing extra steps, but it’s not the end of the world,” said Chrisler.

Some people might hold off on visiting different parts of the world for now, but every one of the travelers we met told NBC 7 they will go the extra mile to make their destinations safely.

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