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Revised international travel requirements coming Monday for the vaccinated, unvaccinated

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Matt Bowler/KPBS
A Delta employee stands behind a ticket counter inside of the San Diego International Airport's terminal two, Dec. 3, 2021.

Starting Monday all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status or citizenship will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 hours before their flights depart. Previously vaccinated travelers coming to the U.S. had three days to get a negative result, whereas those unvaccinated had one day.

"I just came back from Paris," said Rancho Bernardo resident Luke Trowbridge. "You have to get like a test three days before and once you were clear, you were all set to go."

Trowbridge said the one day test requirement is not an inconvenience.

"It’s really easy," he said. "As long as you make a little bit of time for it."

Other people said the same thing.

"I don't think that’s going to affect me," said Spring Valley resident Donovan Turner who was flying to Brazil Friday.

The measures are being taken by federal officials out of an abundance of caution and that is because there is still a lot unknown about this new variant Omicron. Researchers are racing to answer questions like if it’s more contagious or vaccine resistant or has a higher hospitalization rate.

The mask requirement inside of airports and plane was also extended this week. The measures come as travel out of San Diego has been rebounding.

"Domestic has done a lot better than international and that’s really because they haven’t been operating this entire time," said San Diego International spokesperson Sabrina LoPiccolo.

Revised international travel requirements coming Monday for the vaccinated, unvaccinated

Airlines have not brought back all their flights, especially international carriers. This year Japan Airlines came back, along with flights to Canada and most recently in October flights resumed to London. Overall traffic is still down compared to pre-pandemic levels.

"Currently we’re between about 20% to 25% down from what we saw in 2019," LoPiccolo said. "We are definitely a lot closer than what we saw last year around this time, but we haven’t fully recovered."

For those with questions about the changes a good tip is to contact your airline carrier or check the CDC’s travel page on their website.