The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that it would implement a new COVID-19 testing requirement on air travel from China.

Key Points:

  • Beginning Jan. 5 at 12:01 a.m. ET, air passengers 2 years or older will be required to provide their airline with proof of a negative COVID-19 test if they are:
    • Traveling directly to the U.S. from Mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau; or
    • Transiting through Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport to the U.S. if they were in China in the last 10 days.
  • The requirement will apply regardless of nationality or vaccination status. It will remain in effect until further notice.
  • Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before air travel may provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19 instead of a negative test.
  • Airlines will be required to confirm the negative COVID-19 test result or proof of recovery before passengers board.

Additional Information: The CDC said it was implementing the testing measure “to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the United States during the surge in COVID-19 cases” in China, citing a “lack of adequate and transparent epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data” from the country. More COVID-related information on international travel to and from the U.S. is available here.

This alert has been provided by BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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