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    Air Passengers from China to U.S. Must Test Negative for COVID

    • Published
    • 29 December 2022
    • Category
    • News

    A negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery will be required for air passengers boarding flights to the United States from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong and Macau effective Jan. 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.

    The CDC is responding to a surge of  COVID-19 cases in China and lack of access to epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data needed to accurately monitor case rates and decrease the chance for entry of a novel variant of concern into the U.S. Pre-departure testing has been shown to reduce the number of infected passengers boarding airplanes, officials said.

    Starting at 12:01 a.m. EST on Jan. 5, all air passengers over 2 years old years will be required to get a test no more than two days before their departure and show a negative test result to the airline upon departure. The test may be a PCR test or  antigen self-test administered and monitored by a telehealth service or  licensed provider and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or relevant national authority. Passengers who test positive more than 10 days before their flight can provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in lieu of a negative test result.

    These requirements apply to all departing air passengers regardless of their nationality or vaccination status, travelers who pass through China from another country and those who will be making connections to other countries from the U.S. after arriving from China.

    In related news, the CDC reported plans to expand its voluntary Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance Program, an early warning system designed to detect and characterize new and rare variants. The program involves the collection of nasal swabs from arriving international travelers on selected flights at major U.S. international airports. The addition of Los Angeles and Seattle-Tacoma international airports will bring the total number of participating airports to seven and number of weekly flights covered to approximately 500 from at least 30 countries across all World Health Organization (WHO) regions.  This includes approximately 290 weekly flights from the PRC and surrounding areas.

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