The US will require COVID-19 tests for all travelers from China amid a spate of infections

The US on Wednesday announced new COVID-19 testing requirements for all travelers from China, joining other nations in imposing restrictions due to a surge in infections.

The spike in cases across China follows the easing of the country’s strict antivirus controls. China’s “zero-COVID” policy had kept China’s infection rate low but fueled public frustration and dampened economic growth.

Beginning January 5, all travelers from China to the United States must take a COVID-19 test no more than two days before travel and present a negative test before boarding their flight. The test is for people aged 2 and over.

Other countries have taken similar steps to prevent infections from spreading beyond China’s borders. Japan requires travelers from China to test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival, and Malaysia announced new tracking and surveillance measures. India, South Korea and Taiwan require virus tests for visitors from China.

The Lunar New Year, which begins Jan. 22, is usually China’s busiest travel season, and China announced on Tuesday it will be issuing tourism passes for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020.

The US action is a return to requirements for some international travelers. The Biden administration rescinded the last of those mandates in June. At this point, the CDC continued to recommend that people boarding the United States get tested just prior to departure time and not travel if they are ill.

At the start of the pandemic, the US barred foreigners entering from China weeks after the virus first emerged three years ago. Americans have been allowed to return home, and flights from China have been directed to select airports, where passengers are screened for illnesses.

But the virus was already spreading among people with no travel history in the United States.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The US will require COVID-19 tests for all travelers from China amid a spate of infections

Laura Coffey

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