Covid-19 tests that were mandatory for travelers arriving from China are going to end on Friday (10 March) as the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decides, joining other countries in dropping the requirements.
The United States follows Japan that removed the mandatory testing requirements last week. U.S has stated that it will still keep a close eye on the COVID-19 situation in China and other countries globally. The Washington Post previously reported on the U.S. decision. There has been no immediate response from the CDC regarding requests for comment.
Following Beijing’s decision to ease strict zero-COVID policies, the United States, along with countries such as India, Canada, Italy, and Japan, implemented new measures in early January. As part of these measures, all new air passengers aged 2 and above traveling from China, Hong Kong, or Macao were required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 2 days before their departure.
According to a source who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday, the CDC has decided to maintain the Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance Program (TGS), which invites travelers to participate in the early detection of new COVID-19 variants. The TGS program will continue to monitor flights from China and regional transportation hubs, as well as flights originating from over 30 other countries.
China experienced a significant surge in COVID-19 cases when it abruptly abandoned its zero-COVID policy in early December, which unleashed the virus on its 1.4 billion population. Despite this, China’s top leaders declared a “major victory” over COVID-19 in February, claiming the lowest fatality rate worldwide. However, some experts have raised concerns about the accuracy of the data.
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