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28 Dec 2022

United States

U.S. Requires Negative COVID-19 Test for Travelers from China

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced today that air passengers boarding flights to the United States originating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau will have to show a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in order to board their flight. According to the agency’s announcement, the new measure is part of an effort to “slow the spread of COVID-19 in the United States during the surge in COVID-19 cases in the PRC” and in light of “the lack of adequate and transparent [COVID-related] data being reported from the PRC.”

Starting January 5, 2023 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, all air passengers two years and older flying from the PRC must complete a PCR or antigen test administered by a telehealth service or a licensed provider and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or the relevant national authority, no more than two days before their departure from the PRC, Hong Kong, or Macau and show a negative test result to the airline before being allowed to board their U.S.-bound flight.

This new testing requirement will apply to:

  • All air passengers regardless of nationality and vaccination status (including U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents) as well as those traveling from the PRC via third country transit and to passengers connecting through the U.S. to other destinations.
  • Passengers transiting Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, or Vancouver International Airport to the United States, if they were present in the PRC in the last 10 days no more than two days before their flight departure.

Passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 more than 10 days before their U.S.-bound flight can provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19, in lieu of a negative test result.

This requirement will be implemented by the airlines, which must confirm the negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding takes place.  At present, there is no indication that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will request evidence of a negative test result or recovery upon entry to the United States. The CDC indicates that it plans to make more information available in the coming days and T&S will provide updates as they develop.

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The content above is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

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