US to ease Covid-19 testing for Chinese travelers

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WASHINGTON: The United States is preparing to ease COVID-19 testing restrictions for travelers from China. The change is expected as soon as Friday, according to officials familiar with the decision. 

The United States is reportedly preparing to ease the restrictions as the situation improves in China, prompting the decision, quoted officials of the Biden administration. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials said that the US govt has decided to “roll back the testing requirements” as the number of cases and deaths as well as hospitalizations were on a downward spiral in China. It is worth mentioning that Covid-19 restrictions were made mandatory on December 28, and took effect on January 5 as infections surged in mainland China after authorities introduced lesser SOPs. At the time, US officials had claimed the Chinese administration was not being truthful about the total number of infections. Also, at the time, the Biden govt argued a lack of transparency from the Beijing authorities concerning the size of the surge or the variants spreading in mainland China. After this, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, as part of its response to the pandemic, expanded genomic surveillance at various airports across the country to collect voluntary samples from passengers on weekly flights coming from China. The authorities also reportedly tested the waster water from the planes entering US territory.

It is worth mentioning that the rules imposed in January required potential travelers entering into US territory from China or any other country including Hong Kong, and Macau to take a Covid-19 test at least two days prior to traveling, and to provide a negative report before boarding the plane. Per authorities, travelers could also provide documentation of having caught and recovered from the infection.

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