Beginning Jan. 5, anyone older than 2 years old arriving from China, Hong Kong or Macau will need to show a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within two days of their flight. The requirement applies to all passengers regardless of nationality or vaccination status, those connecting through other countries, and people transferring through U.S. airports to other destinations.
Airlines will be required to confirm Covid-19 test result or retrieval documentation of all passengers before boarding.
Travelers who tested positive more than 10 days before their flight must provide recovery documentation in lieu of a negative test result.
The move is aimed at decreasing the number of infected passengers boarding planes and could give public health authorities time to identify and understand any potential new variants.
According to experts, this new regulation is due to changes introduced by China to its strict zero Covid-19 policy.
In December, the Chinese government revolutionized its sanitary mechanism, lifted many measures and simplified others in order to ensure socioeconomic growth and mitigate controversial practices that caused unrest among population and sparked unprecedented protests in past November.
China, at the same time, is experiencing a strong fresh wave, which experts say is due to the continuing mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, onset of winter and the drop in immune response in vaccinated individuals.
The fresh wave has raised the daily toll of infected people to millions and although death cases have also increased, health authorities only count those who die from respiratory problems or neunomia.