America puts a condition on travelers coming from China

(CNN) — US officials on Wednesday announced a new order for all travelers arriving from China, in which they will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test result before traveling to the country as the rapid easing of COVID-19 restrictions by China leads to an increase in infections. .

US health officials said that passengers traveling to the US from China will need to be tested no more than two days before travel, and provide proof of a negative test result to their airline before boarding.

The tests can either be a PCR test or a self-test conducted through the telehealth service.

This requirement will apply to both travelers arriving directly into the United States from China as well as passengers traveling through third countries.

Travelers who tested positive more than 10 days before their flight can submit documents of their recovery in lieu of a negative test result.

The new rules go into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on January 5.

US officials have expressed deep concerns about China’s lack of transparency about the recent increase in cases, particularly the lack of genome sequence information that could help detect new strains of the coronavirus.

“We know that these measures will not eliminate all risks or completely prevent infected people from entering the United States, however, they will help limit the number of infected people and provide us with an early warning about new variants,” a health official said.

The new US measures come as Japan and India announced their own COVID-19 measures for travelers from China amid fears of a surge in cases.

Japan requires individuals traveling from China to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival from December 30, and Indian authorities have said that travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand will have to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival in India and quarantine. If they test positive.

China began easing its strict COVID-19 measures after discontinuing the “zero COVID” policy earlier this month.

On Monday, China announced that it will end the quarantine measure for arrivals from abroad from January 8, in a major step towards reopening its borders.

But the sudden end to China’s strict health policy caught many in the country by surprise and put pressure on the health system as it grappled with a surge in infections.

On Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry responded to reports that the United States is considering imposing restrictions on travelers from China. “We must work together to ensure the safe movement of people between countries and the stability of the global supply chain,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing. .

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