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Do Americans Need To Quarantine After Returning Home From Cancun?

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In an executive order that took effect on Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that Americans returning home from abroad would have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 antigen test before boarding flights to the U.S. and follow recommended quarantine guidelines set out by the CDC. It sounds simple to follow but in a shocking email the CDC said the quarantine isn’t mandatory…yet.

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The Quarantine Order For Americans Returning Home

Joe Biden signed an executive order that requires Americans returning from abroad to follow CDC “recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation.” 

The exact wording states that travelers are “required to comply with other applicable CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.”

Biden’s executive order asked federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health to come up with a plan that “shall identify agencies’ tools and mechanisms to assist travelers in complying with such policy” within 14 days of the order.

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The CDC Says The Quarantine Guidelines Are Recommended And Will Not Enforce Them

The CDC recommends the following:  “A post-arrival test 3-5 days after arrival at destination, combined with self-monitoring and a 7-day period of staying home.”

While the word ‘recommended’ may be confusing, it does state that Americans are ‘required to comply’.

The order did however state international travelers must follow guidelines “to the extent feasible” leaving the order open to interpretation. 

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In an email to the Washington Post, A spokeswoman for the CDC, Caitlin Shockey, called the current legislation “not a mandatory quarantine, just a recommendation,” The agency agreed that it will not be enforcing its guidance as a rule, and stated “there is not a mandatory, federal quarantine.”

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Do Americans Have To Quarantine Upon Returning Home From Cancun?

Following all guidelines set out by the CDC would be the safest bet for Americans returning home from Cancun. Testing is mandatory and will be required before boarding your flight home.

While the quarantine is not being enforced at this time, the State Department could announce measures to enforce the policy within the next two weeks.

A spokesperson for the State Department stated that American travelers “who must travel overseas” should review the CDC’s latest requirements for passengers returning to the United States.

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