COVID test for travelers from China will be required by the United States
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Travelers to the United States from China, Hong Kong and Macao will soon be required to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding their flights to the states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. The requirement, which takes effect Jan. 5, aims to prevent a new variant of the coronavirus from entering the United States as China experiences a surge in COVID cases.
“Pre-departure testing and the requirement to show a negative test result have been shown to decrease the number of infected passengers on board aircraft, and this will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to identify and understand any potential new variants that may emerge,” the CDC said in a statement.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on January 5, passengers 2 years and older will be required to take a test no later than two days before departure. The rule applies to passengers regardless of nationality and vaccination status. Passengers who test positive more than 10 days before their flight may present proof of recovery from COVID in lieu of a negative test result.
The restriction applies to direct flights to the United States. It also applies to passengers traveling to the United States from Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport, if they have been in the People’s Republic of China during the Last 10 days, no more than 2 days before leaving for the States.
“These three transit hubs cover the overwhelming majority of passengers traveling from the PRC and special administrative regions,” the CDC said, referring to Hong Kong and Macau.
In early December, China eased its “zero COVID” restrictions in response to massive street protests in the country. Since then, a spike in cases in China has been accompanied by reports of hospital hallways full of sick patients, more medical staff working while sick, and a lack of transparency about the ‘epidemic.
“Reduced testing and case reporting in the PRC and minimal sharing of viral genomic sequence data could delay the identification of new variants of concern if they arise,” the CDC said in its statement.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.