US to require travelers from China to show proof of negative COVID test

Travelers flying from China to the United States will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding starting Jan. 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.

Passengers two years and older will be required to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within two days of departure at the gate, the CDC said in a press release.

The rule will also apply to travelers from China to the United States via a third country, and only exempts those who tested positive for the bug at least 10 days before the flight and “can provide documentation of recovery…instead of a negative test result.”

The move comes after the relaxation of China’s strict “zero-COVID” policies earlier this month led to the country’s biggest coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began.

U.S. officials opted to reinstate the testing requirement for travelers from China due to a “lack of adequate and transparent data on reported viral epidemiological and genomic sequences” by the country, according to the CDC statement.

Passengers age two and older will be required to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within two days of departure at the gate, the CDC said.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“These data are essential to effectively monitor the increase in cases and reduce the chances of entry of a new variant of concern,” the statement added.

It is the first time the Biden administration has reinstated mandatory COVID mandates on a foreign country since the last similar measures were lifted in June, though the government has continued to recommend pre-flight testing.

Other countries have taken similar steps to screen travelers from China in recent weeks to prevent infections from spreading beyond China’s borders.

Passengers wearing face masks walk through the Capital Airport terminal in Beijing on December 13, 2022.
China is experiencing its worst COVID outbreak since the pandemic began.
PA

Japan will require a negative COVID-19 test on arrival for travelers from China, and Malaysia has announced new tracking and surveillance measures. India, South Korea and Taiwan also require virus testing for visitors from China.

On Monday, two flights from China to Milan generated nearly 100 positive COVID results, nearly half of the total number of fliers on board.

With post wires

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