The Biden administration is tightening travel rules to and within the U.S., requiring all in-bound international passengers to test for Covid within 24 hours of departure and extending its mask requirement on all domestic flights and public transportation through March 18.

The changes were announced Thursday as part of a broader plan to bolster the nation’s arsenal of tools in its fight against the virus as the world enters its third year of the pandemic.

The plan is also the latest move by the Biden administration to stem the spread of the new, highly mutated omicron variant of the coronavirus, which was first reported to the WHO by South Africa a week ago. At least 23 countries have identified omicron cases so far, and that number is expected to rise in the coming days and weeks, the WHO said Wednesday.

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