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CDC Renews Covid Test Mandate for Pax from China

Date: January 3, 2023

AINONLINE (Kerry Lynch) - The U.S. government is requiring proof of a negative Covid-19 test for all passengers ages two or older flying from greater China areas into the U.S., effective at 12:01 a.m. January 5, NBAA reported. NBAA noted that officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Homeland Security, and FAA clarified that requirement in a recent call with U.S. airlines and aviation industry groups.

The requirement applies to all passengers—regardless of nationality or vaccination status—flying to the U.S. from China, Hong Kong, or Macau. It further covers passengers who transit from China Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, or Vancouver International Airport.

Passengers must have tested negative within two days of the flight, but the tests may be either PCR or a self-administered antigen that is monitored by a telehealth provider. Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before a flight can provide documentation of recovery in place of a negative test. Operators must confirm the tests before boarding and deny boarding if documentation nor a negative test is not present.

NBAA noted that Lisa Rotz, acting director for the division of Global Migration and Quarantine at CDC, had said the testing is necessary because of “a veritable explosion in cases and transmission.” Rotz explained that since China has not experienced the same transmission level as in other parts of the world, a greater number of people there lack immunity.

She further said that the testing is intended to guard against exposure to new strains or variants. The CDC is planning to expand its Traveler Genomic Surveillance program, a voluntary program to detect emerging variants.

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