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Anyone Traveling From China to US Will Have to Show Negative COVID Test: CDC

As the number of COVID infections in China skyrockets, the United States is making a change. 

Starting next Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that anyone over the age of two, looking to fly from China to the U.S., will have to show a negative COVID test.

“I  think testing visitors from China is more symbolic than pragmatic when it comes to stemming the tide of infection in this country,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease expert from UCSF, who isn’t exactly sold on the latest health order.

This all comes as China has seen cases skyrocket after lifting its zero COVID policy for the first time in years.

Many experts worry infections in China are multiplying so fast, that they will spawn new variants.

However Chin-Hong points out that there are key differences between how China and the U.S. handled the virus, noting there are three key differences that put us in a better position to handle any new variant. 

“Increase population immunity … because of the availability of vaccines and mRNA vaccine and because we have a lot of therapeutics that keep people away from the hospital,” he said.

The CDC has said it’s making the change because China notoriously lacks transparency when it comes to medical records, making it harder to analyze and track the mutating virus.

“Right now we’re not getting a lot of information as to variants, what kind of COVID is coming from that part of the world,” said Chin-Hong.

According to the CDC, the new requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of ethnicity or vaccination status.

Airlines will be responsible for confirming the negative test results before passengers board the plane.

The agency also said it’s recommending expanding a long-running COVID monitoring program that’s already tracking cases at seven American airports, including San Francisco International.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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