Passengers travelling from China to US now need to show negative Covid test

Washington Edited By: C KrishnasaiUpdated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:39 PM IST
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The tests can be either a PCR test or an antigen self-test administered through telehealth services, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention said

Passengers from China now need to show negative COVID-19 results before boarding flights to the United States, the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.

The federal agency said that the Covid test needs to be done two days before flying and the proof of the negative test must be submitted to the airline before boarding.

The tests can be either a PCR test or an antigen self-test administered through a telehealth service.

The testing requirement is mandatory for people from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, and covers all passengers regardless of their nationality or vaccination status, the CDC said.

It also covers passengers flying from third-country gateways, including Seoul, Toronto and Vancouver. The test will be required if they have been in China over the last 10 days.

The new rules are scheduled to take effect on January 5.

Study: Existing Covid strains driving China surge

"CDC is announcing this step to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the United States during the surge in COVID-19 cases in the [People's Republic of China] given the lack of adequate and transparent epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data being reported from the PRC," the CDC said in a statement.

The testing requirement was scrapped in June, but the US continued to allow all foreign travellers provided they proved that they are fully vaccinated with the primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The health officials said that the need to bring back testing requirements was because of deep concerns about China’s lack of transparency regarding the recent surge in cases, especially the absence of genome sequencing information that could help detect new strains of the coronavirus.

“We know these measures will not eliminate all risk or completely prevent people who are infected from entering the United States,” a federal health official told CNN.

“Still, taken together they will help limit the number of infected people and provide us an early warning about new variants.”

(With inputs from agencies)