President Biden Mandates a 10-Day Self-Quarantine for International Travelers

And he's signed an order requiring that masks be worn on public transportation

President Joe Biden signing mandate about self quarantining during the Covid 19 pandemic

Alex Wong / Getty Images

It's President Biden's first full day in office, and boy, it's been a busy one. The newly inaugurated Commander in Chief released a 200-page document called "National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness" that details his administration's plan to combat the coronavirus in what he's calling a "full-scale wartime effort."

Most pressing for the travel industry is the order for all international travelers arriving by air to self-quarantine per the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of today, the CDC recommends a 10-day quarantine. Biden will also keep former President Trump's order that requires international travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the country, which was announced last week and will go into effect on Jan. 26. Details on the implementation of the self-quarantine are not yet available.

The new president hasn't stopped there. Biden has also mandated wearing masks on public transportation, including planes, trains, and buses, during interstate travel—a move that Trump refused to make. (Intrastate travel, however, is not the jurisdiction of the federal government.)

“For the past year, we couldn’t rely on the federal government to act with the urgency and focus and coordination that we needed, and we have seen the tragic cost of that failure,” Biden said in an appearance today.

Ultimately, the President hopes that these strict measures will allow travel to resume. "Ensuring that people can safely travel will be critical for families and to jumpstarting the economy, which is why the President issued an executive order that requires mask-wearing on certain public modes of transportation and at ports of entry to the United States," the document declares. It also states, "The Administration will work with foreign governments and other stakeholders to establish guidelines for and to implement public health measures for safe international travel, including at land and sea borders."

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  1. The White House. "Executive Order Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel." January 21, 2021.