US announces new mandatory Covid guidelines for travellers from China from next year

The United States announced new COVID-19 testing requirements on Wednesday for all travelers from China, joining other countries imposing restrictions because of a surge in infections. Beginning January 5, 2023, all travelers to the United States from China will be required to be tested for COVID-19 no more than two days prior to travel and provide a negative test result. before boarding their flight. The test applies to anyone 2 years of age or older.

Travelers who arrive directly from China or have been in the country 10 days prior to departure for the United States will be required to present a negative PCR or antigen test for the coronavirus, federal health officials said today. Wednesday, spoke on condition of anonymity in a call with reporters. The requirement applies to all passengers regardless of nationality or immunization status and will go into effect January 5 at 12:01 a.m. New York time.

Passengers who test positive more than 10 days before travel can provide documentation and the ability to recover from Covid in lieu of a negative test result, officials said on the call. Airlines will need to confirm a negative Covid test or recovery document before boarding a flight to the US. This requirement also applies to travelers from Hong Kong and Macau.

An increase in cases across China after the country’s strict anti-virus controls were rescinded. China’s “no COVID” policies have kept China’s infection rate low but have caused public frustration and stunted economic growth.

Other countries have taken similar steps in an effort to prevent the infection from spreading beyond China’s borders. Japan will require a negative COVID-19 test on arrival for travelers from China, and Malaysia has announced new monitoring and surveillance measures. India, South Korea and Taiwan are requiring virus testing for travelers from China.

The Lunar New Year, which begins January 22, is usually China’s busiest travel season, and China on Tuesday announced it would resume issuing travel passports for the first time since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday. 2020.

The US action is a return to requirements for some international travelers. The Biden administration abrogated the last such mandate in June. At that time, the CDC continued to recommend that passengers boarding flights to the US should be tested close to departure time and not travel if sick.

Early in the pandemic, the United States banned entry to foreigners from China, weeks after the virus first appeared there three years ago. Americans were allowed to return home, and flights from China were directed to select airports where passengers were screened for illness.

But the virus has spread in the United States among people with no travel history.

*With input from agencies

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