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White House considering stricter international travel testing requirements amid omicron variant

Travelers make their way through the Miami International Airport.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The Biden administration is considering tightening requirements for international travel amid growing concerns about the omicron variant of the coronavirus, a White House official told NBC News on Tuesday.

The official said the administration is continuing “to evaluate the appropriate measures to protect the American people from Covid-19” and the new variant, including “considering more stringent testing requirements for international travel.”

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“Policy discussions are ongoing across the government and no final decisions have been made,” the official added.

The discussion comes on the heels of the federal government restricting travel for non-U.S. citizens from South Africa and seven other countries in an effort to contain the variant. Cases were first reported in South Africa and it’s since surfaced in other countries, including Belgium, Canada and Israel.

In remarks Monday, President Joe Biden called the variant “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” On Thursday, Biden is expected to lay out his administration’s plan for combating Covid-19 this winter.

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