US to require passengers from China to show negative Covid-19 test result before flight

US to require passengers from China to show negative Covid-19 test result before flight


As Beijing’s fast rest of Covid-19 restrictions has led to a rise in circumstances, the US would require all vacationers from China to point out a damaging Covid-19 check consequence earlier than flying into the nation.

Federal well being officers mentioned passengers flying from China to the US should take a check not more than two days earlier than they fly and current proof of a damaging check to airways earlier than boarding.

The checks could also be a PCR check or an antigen self-test administered by means of a telehealth service.

The requirement will apply to passengers flying instantly from China to the US., together with Hong Kong and Macau, It additionally applies to passengers flying by means of common third-country gateways equivalent to Seoul, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Passengers who check constructive greater than 10 days earlier than their flight can current a restoration doc as a substitute of a damaging check consequence.

The brand new guidelines will go into impact on January 5 at 00:01 ET.

U.S. officers have expressed deep concern over China’s lack of transparency surrounding the latest improve in circumstances, notably the dearth of genome sequencing info that might assist detect novel coronavirus strains.

“We all know that these measures won’t remove all dangers or fully stop contaminated individuals from getting into the US,” a federal well being official mentioned. Nonetheless, “taken collectively, they are going to assist restrict the variety of contaminated individuals and supply us with early warning of latest variants.”

US well being officers mentioned the January 5 timeline was chosen to offer airways sufficient time to regulate operations to implement the brand new guidelines. Officers didn’t estimate how lengthy they anticipated these guidelines to stay in impact, saying they’d “monitor the scenario on the bottom and alter as wanted.”

Moreover, officers introduced that the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has expanded its Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program to airports in Seattle and Los Angeles, bringing the overall variety of collaborating airports to seven, with almost 500 weekly flights from not less than 30 international locations. . This can embody roughly 290 weekly flights from China and surrounding areas.

“We’re increasing this to hope to catch any variant which will emerge” and “by launching this pre-departure testing program to scale back contamination of a brand new variant,” one official mentioned.

The brand new requirement comes as Japan and India introduced Covid-19 measures for vacationers from China amid considerations about a rise in circumstances.

From December 30, Japan is mandating vacationers from China to take a Covid-19 check upon arrival. To India and quarantine in the event that they check constructive.

China has begun to chill out strict Covid-19 measures after liquidating the measures within the nation. longstanding zero Covid policy earlier this month. On Monday, China introduced that it’s going to finish quarantine necessities for worldwide arrivals from January 8, which is a giant step in direction of reopening its borders.

However the abrupt finish of China’s strict well being coverage has caught many within the nation off guard and strained the healthcare system because it offers with rising infections.

Officers famous that “the CDC continues to advocate carrying a masks whereas touring, self-monitoring for signs, and testing for worldwide journey for 3 days after arrival.”

The CDC mentioned officers had China uploaded “solely about 100” new sequences to public databases in latest weeks, “together with Omicron subvariants equivalent to BA.5,” however the small pattern measurement left room for concern.

“What we’re anxious about is {that a} new variant could also be rising in China,” one official mentioned. “Since so many individuals have been contaminated in China in such a short while, there’s a probability and chance for a brand new variant to emerge.”

When requested if there was any concern in regards to the accuracy of the info and whether or not China was correct and clear, one official mentioned that what considerations the administration at this level is especially the quantity of information.

We have now solely restricted details about the data shared in regards to the variety of circumstances that improve hospitalizations and particularly deaths,” he mentioned. “Additionally, there was a drop in testing throughout China. That makes it tough to know what the precise an infection price is.”

China’s overseas ministry on Wednesday responded to stories that the US is contemplating imposing restrictions on vacationers from China, urging the events to work collectively to make sure the protected motion of individuals between international locations and the soundness of the worldwide provide chain.

“We want all events to work collectively scientifically in opposition to the epidemic to make sure the protected motion of individuals between international locations, to take care of the soundness of the worldwide industrial chain provide chain, and to assist the resumption of wholesome development on this planet financial system,” China’s Ministry of International Affairs mentioned. spokesperson Wang Wenbin mentioned at a briefing.

This story has been up to date with extra developments.

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