President Joe Biden on Thursday beefed up the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic, requiring mask-wearing in airports and on some forms of public transport as well as quarantine for arriving international air travelers.
Biden, who took office Wednesday, has vowed to bring the pandemic under control, criticizing his predecessor Donald Trump's handling of a public health crisis that has led to the deaths of more than 400,000 people in the United States.
"For the past year, we couldn't rely on the federal government to act with the urgency and focus and coordination we needed," Biden said Thursday as he unveiled a national strategy to more effectively respond to the pandemic.
The strategy laid out plans to achieve Biden's goal to administer 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the first 100 days of his presidency such as increasing the number of vaccination venues. It also pledged to provide scientifically accurate information to the public after Trump often made remarks seen to be disregarding science.
In line with the strategy, Biden also issued a mask-requirement order in airports and for certain domestic types of public transportation, including many trains, airplanes, maritime vessels, and intercity buses.
As for travelers seeking to enter the United States from a foreign country, the order requires "to the extent feasible" to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test result prior to entry and to comply with U.S. guidelines for self-isolation and self-quarantine upon arrival.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends travelers to stay home for seven days after an international flight.
The CDC earlier announced that it is planning to require from Tuesday all overseas travelers to be tested three days or less before their U.S-bound flights depart, and show the documentation to airlines to prove they are clear of the virus.