The United States will require travelers from China to show a negative Covid-19 test result before flight

The United States will require travelers from China to show a negative Covid-19 test result before flight
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The United States will require all travelers from China to show a negative covid-19 test result before flying to the country, as the rapid relaxation of covid-19 restrictions in Beijing leads to a spike in cases.

Passengers flying to the US from China will need to get tested no more than two days before they fly, federal health officials said, and present proof of the negative test to their airline before boarding.

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

The requirement will apply to both passengers flying directly to the United States from China and passengers flying through popular third-country gateways including Seoul, Toronto and Vancouver.

Passengers who test positive more than 10 days before their flight may provide documentation of their recovery in lieu of a negative test result.

The new rules will go into effect at 12:01 am ET on January 5.

US officials have expressed deep concern about China’s lack of transparency around the latest surge in cases, particularly the absence of information on genome sequencing that could help detect new strains of the coronavirus.

“We know that these measures will not eliminate all risks or completely prevent infected individuals from entering the United States,” a federal health official said. Still, “together, they will help limit the number of people infected and give us early warning of new variants.”

The new requirement comes as Japan and India have announced Covid-19 measures for travelers from China amid concerns about a spike in cases.

Japan requires people traveling from China to undergo a covid-19 test upon arrival from December 30. Indian authorities have said travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test on arrival in India and quarantine if they test positive.

China has started to loosen its strict Covid-19 measures after dismantling the country. Long term zero covid policy earlier this month. On Monday, China announced that it will end quarantine requirements for international arrivals effective January 8, marking an important step toward reopening its borders.

But the sudden end to China’s strict health policy has caught many in the country by surprise and strained the health system as it grapples with a surge in infections.

China’s foreign ministry responded Wednesday to reports that the United States is considering imposing restrictions on travelers from China, urging the parties to work together to ensure the safe movement of people between countries and the stability of the supply chain. global supply.

“We need all parties to work together scientifically against the epidemic to ensure the safe movement of people between countries, maintain the stability of the global industrial supply chain, and promote the resumption of healthy growth in the world economy,” the ministry spokesperson said. of Foreign Relations of China. Wang Wenbin said at a briefing.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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