Amid China’s recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that, starting Jan. 5, the United States will require travelers from China to show a negative COVID-19 test result before flying to the country.
Per the CDC, all passengers from China older than 2 – regardless of nationality or vaccination status – will need to receive a negative PCR/ antigen self-test no more than 2 days before their departure from China, Hong Kong, or Macau.
Airlines can deny boarding for the traveler unless they confirm the negative test result for all passengers before they board.
Citing the lack of adequate and transparent data about the outbreak being reported from China, which recently loosened its travel restrictions and opened its borders for overseas travel, the CDC expressed concerns about slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the US and said it’s aiming at preventing any variants of concern from leaking into the country.
The CDC said that federal health officials will have a very difficult job identifying variants of concern if they arise due to the lack of accurate data coming out of the PRC.
It further noted that this also applies to travelers connecting through the United States to another country or traveling from China via a third country.
Ever since China eliminated quarantines and testing requirements for travelers into the country, Chinese people have also been flocking out of the country after being under heavy COVID travel restrictions until earlier this month.
The elimination of nationwide restrictions, however, led to China being forced to deal with a deadly spike in COVID-19 cases.
Europe has also become increasingly vigilant regarding travelers from China, with German health authorities saying they were also monitoring the situation while health authorities in Italy announced they’d begin testing all arrivals from China for COVID-19.
Media previously reported that about 50% of passengers coming from China on two flights to Milan were found to be carrying the virus.