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FAQs: Omicron Surge

THE SITUATION

The current global COVID wave worldwide has exploded as Omicron quickly becomes the predominant variant and appears more contagious than prior variants. For example, in the US, 80% of cases sequenced in the last two weeks are Omicron. See https://ourworldindata.org/covid-cases for data.

Given the rapid increase in COVID cases worldwide affecting most countries, including all US states combined with increased airline operations over the holidays (particularly the US), commercial crew have not been exempted from exposures nor COVID and other viral illnesses circulating. See risk level US map in https://covidactnow.org/?s=27751665.

This has overloaded COVID testing sites and health care providers, so there are significant difficulties in arranging timely COVID testing and provider appointments. Additionally, COVID test results can be delayed, and providers can have significant waits.

Finally, the more learned about the Omicron variant, such as its transmissibility, duration, the severity of illness, protection from vaccination, or prior illness, health authorities worldwide are disparately updating their quarantine and isolation guidelines (CDC twice last week). As a result, it makes clearance from quarantine and international travel more complicated, impacting destination entry requirements.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Commercial Aviation Business and General Aviation