U.S. to Impose New COVID-19 Restrictions for Air Travelers from China

Written by Deeba Fahami

On December 28, 2022, the Biden administration announced new COVID-19 restrictions for travelers from China, citing mounting concerns of the ongoing COVID-19 surges and the lack of adequate data being reported from the People’s Republic of China (China).

These restrictions will affect all air passengers two years and older boarding flights to the United States originating from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, and will take effect starting at 12:01 AM ET on January 5, 2023.

These measures will require a negative COVID-19 test (such as a PCR test or monitored antigen test) no more than 2 days before departure from the designated regions. Air passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before their flight can provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19  in lieu of a negative test result. Airlines must confirm the negative test result (or documentation of recovery) for all passengers before they board, or they must deny boarding to the passenger.

Passengers flying through South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport who have been in China in the last 10 days will also be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test (or documentation of recovery) no more than 2 days before their departure to the United States.

The new rules do not appear to be applicable to travelers who attempt to enter the United States by land or sea. Individuals traveling from China or any other affected region should check regularly for updates as the requirements for travel change frequently.

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