Authorities announced Wednesday that the United States will begin reintroducing mandatory COVID-19 testing for all air travelers from China.
From January 5, “all air passengers two years of age or older departing from China will be required to take a test no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong and Macau and present a negative test result to airlines upon departure.” “said a spokesman for the federal health ministry.
“The recent rapid increase in Covid-19 transmission in China increases the likelihood of new options emerging,” the official told reporters in a telephone briefing.
However, Beijing has provided only limited data on the variants circulating in China to global databases, and testing and reporting of new cases have also declined, the official said.
“The lack of available data makes it more difficult for US public health officials to identify new variants circulating in the United States,” the official said.
“The United States is taking deliberate, proactive steps to protect the public health of Americans and should be on the lookout for any potential variants of Covid-19,” the official said.
The new requirement will take effect immediately after midnight ET on January 5, or 05:00 GMT.
The testing requirement applies to air travelers regardless of nationality and vaccination status, and includes people traveling to the United States from China via third countries, as well as those traveling through the United States to other countries.