WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – The U. S. will soon require negative COVID tests for individuals traveling from China to the U.S. as health officials are concerned about the rise in COVID-19 cases in China as well as the lack of transparency in data regarding the situation.
These new travel rules are set to go into effect on January 5th.
It would require that travelers get a negative COVID-19 test no more than two days prior to their departure.
This must be a PCR test or an antigen self-test that has been administered by a telehealth service and one that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.
This doesn’t just apply to those traveling directly from China to the U. S., it would include those travelers who are possibly going through a third country and so it would apply in airports like Seoul, Vancouver and Toronto as well.
Health officials say that they set the January 5th timeline in order to give airlines more time to set their operations in place so they can implement the plan.
This all comes as there has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in China since the elimination of its “Zero COVID” policy, a very strict policy that’s been in place since the start of the pandemic.
Additionally, health officials say they are concerned about the lack of transparency in the data that China is providing and that includes data relating to the number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and also deaths.
But officials are also specifically concerned with the lack of information coming from China regarding genome sequencing, which is critical in identifying new variants.
Officials are hoping that these new measures that are put in place would help prevent the spread of new variants as they’re trying to gather more information.
The plan is set to take place in just about a week.