U.S. Rings in New Year with COVID Testing Requirement for Travelers from China
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced it will reinstate COVID testing requirements for all travelers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) effective January 5, 2023 at 12:01 AM ET. Impacted travelers must present a negative COVID -19 test result to the airlines to board flights to the U.S.. as of the effective date.
Who is Impacted?
- Air travelers 2 years of age and older traveling to the U.S. with flights originating in the PRC and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau
- Travelers with flights to the U.S. originating from Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport who have been in the PRC, Hong Kong or Macau in the 10 day period prior to traveling to the U.S.
- Individuals who are traveling to the U.S. from the PRC via third country transit and passengers connecting through the U.S. onward to further destinations
- The testing requirement applies regardless of nationality, citizenship status, or vaccination status.
What is Required?
- Travelers must present a negative COVID -19 test result such as a PCR test or an antigen self-test to the airlines to board flights to the U.S.
- The test must be taken no more than two days before the flight departs for the U.S.
- Travelers who had COVID-19 in the 90 days before their travel to the U.S. can instead show documentation of recovery from COVID-19.
- Airlines must either confirm the negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before the passenger boards or deny boarding to the passenger.
- For a list of authorized tests, check here.
The reinstatement of the testing requirement for travelers from China comes as something of a surprise. Earlier this year, the U.S. generally replaced testing requirements with vaccination requirements for international travelers. In reinstating the testing requirement for travelers from China, the CDC indicates it is taking this step to slow the spread of COVID-19 stemming from a surge in COVID cases in the PRC along with concerns over the lack of adequate epidemiological data being reported from the PRC, and the potential emergence of novel variants. The CDC will continue to monitor the situation and adjust its approach as necessary.
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