WASHINGTON: According to health experts, Beijing is not providing enough information about the spike in coronavirus infections there, so the United States will now require negative Covid testing from all flight travelers from China.
A federal health official announced that beginning January 5, “all air passengers two years of age and older originating from China will be required to get a test no more than two days before their departure from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, and show a negative test result to the airlines upon departure.”
The official told reporters during a phone conference that “the recent fast growth of Covid-19 transmission in China raises the likelihood for new variations developing.”
However, the official said that Beijing had decreased testing and reporting on new cases and had only sent little information to international databases regarding the circulating variants in China.
According to the source, “US public health professionals are having a difficult time identifying new variations moving to the US due to the lack of available data.”
The official stated, “The United States is taking deliberate, proactive measures to protect Americans’ public health, and be on alert for any potentially developing Covid-19 variations.”
On January 5, or 0500 GMT, the new requirement will take effect just after midnight US Eastern Time.
No of their nationality or level of immunization, all passengers flying on aircraft, including those entering the United States from China via third countries and those leaving the country via the United States, are subject to the test requirement.
Meanwhile, China ended among of the strictest border controls in the world late Monday by eliminating quarantine for incoming travelers beginning January 8. This action was the final component of China’s tough zero-Covid policy.
Chinese residents celebrated the decision and raced to book overseas flights, which led to an increase in ticket costs.
China’s hospitals and cemeteries are still being overwhelmed by an inflow of primarily old people.