The US has announced new COVID-19 testing requirements for all travellers from China, joining other nations imposing restrictions because of a surge of infections.
The increase in cases across China follows the rollback of the nation's strict anti-virus controls. China's "zero COVID
" policies had kept China's infection rate low but fueled public frustration and crushed economic growth.
Travellers to the US from China will be required to take a COVID
-19 test no more than two days before travel and provide a negative test before boarding their flight. The testing applies to anyone two years old and above.
Other countries have taken similar steps in an effort to keep infections from spreading beyond China's borders. Japan will require a negative COVID
-19 test upon arrival for travelers from China, and Malaysia announced new tracking and surveillance measures. India, South Korea and Taiwan are requiring virus tests for visitors from China.
Lunar New Year, which begins on January 22 is usually China's busiest travel season, and China announced Tuesday it will resume issuing passports for tourism for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
The Biden administration lifted the last of restrictive covid
requirments in June.
But it continued to recommend that people boarding flights to the US get tested close to departure time and not travel if they are sick.
Early in the pandemic, the U. barred entry to foreigners traveling from China, weeks after the virus first emerged there three years ago. Americans were allowed to return home and flights from China were processed at selected airports where passengers were screened for illness.