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President Biden to require quarantine for international travel, masks on planes

Jan. 21, 2021
3 min read
President Biden to require quarantine for international travel, masks on planes
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President Joe Biden is signing executive orders today that will require face masks on all flights, and require all people arriving into the United States from another country to quarantine.

In a news conference this afternoon, Biden said, "We are going to take steps necessary to slow the spread of the disease now."

He called wearing a mask a "patriotic duty," and said masks would be required on all trains, planes and buses.

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The president says anyone coming into the United States by air "will need to test before they get onto that plane before they depart and quarantine when they arrive in America."

Final details of the quarantine requirement for air travel are still being worked on, and will be crafted based on recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Biden is asking these agencies to submit their recommendations on quarantine length -- as well as the type and timing of acceptable testing for travel -- to his administration within 14 days.

The Biden administration is also specifically asking the agencies to consider and make recommendations on issues like possible testing fraud, and how to handle entry for passengers traveling from countries where tests may not be readily available.

For travelers arriving to the U.S. by land, a similar recommendation process will include the departments of Homeland Security and Transportation. Recommendations for sea travel will be made, in part, by the Coast Guard.

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The executive order also lays the groundwork for the creation of “vaccine passports,” which passengers can use as proof of vaccination when they’re ready to travel, including a digital version of the passports.

Today's announcements add to a previous policy from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Jan. 12 that all passengers arriving in the United States would be required to have a negative COVID-19 test in order to board their flights beginning Jan. 26.

The White House released nearly 200 pages of documents detailing the changes in what it's calling the "National Strategy for the COVID-19 response and Pandemic Preparedness."

It reads, in part: "... 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 ... International air travel requires a recent negative COVID-19 test result prior to departure and quarantine on arrival, consistent with CDC guidelines. The executive order also directs agencies to develop options for expanding public health measures for domestic travel and cross-border land and sea travel and calls for incentives to support and encourage compliance with CDC guidelines on public transportation."

Additional reporting Laura Motta.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more