If you thought COVID exams and traveler entry necessities had been long over, you had been considering too quickly as a result of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) simply introduced at the moment that as of January 5, any traveler from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and areas Hong Kong, and Macau will want a destructive COVID check earlier than boarding flights to the U.S.
This information comes on the heels of stories that China’s COVID case numbers are surging, with hospitals being overwhelmed with not having sufficient ER employees or beds to satisfy the demand of circumstances. China has been rolling back many of its strictest rules such as mass testing, lockdowns, and necessary quarantines up to now month and introduced earlier this week that it could be eradicating the requirement for abroad vacationers to quarantine upon arrival. This transfer got here as a shock to some for the reason that nation has been struggling to comprise the virus and has historically adopted a Zero-Covid strategy.
China has stopped reporting each day knowledge on infections pointing to a scarcity of reliability over the information, but it surely has been estimated by a UK-primarily based well being knowledge agency that the nation is averaging round 5,000 deaths and a couple of million infections per day.
Countries have pointed to new variants and slowing the unfold of the virus as their reasoning for reinstating journey testing once more, with the CDC stating that variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are persevering with to point out up in international locations around the globe. The CDC explains that China has been particularly focused attributable to its “reduced testing and case reporting” and that “minimal sharing of viral genomic sequence data could delay the identification of new variants of concern if they arise,” in line with a CDC press release.
Following the CDC’s announcement, Italy revealed a number of hours later it could require all passengers from China to offer a destructive COVID check. Italy had been testing passengers arriving from China this week and had discovered almost 50% of passengers had examined constructive on a flight to Milan.
Earlier this week, India introduced that it could require vacationers to have a destructive COVID check earlier than boarding, whereas Japan and Taiwan have carried out testing upon arrival, and Malaysia has elevated monitoring and surveillance measures.
Italy’s Health Minister Orazio Schillaci mirrored a similar sentiment saying “the measure is essential to ensure surveillance and detection of possible variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population.”
Starting on January 5, passengers with direct flights from the PRC, in addition to passengers utilizing South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, and Canada’s Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport as transits to the U.S. might want to present a destructive COVID-19 check if they’ve been in PRC for the previous 10 days. This is no matter nationality and vaccination standing.
The CDC will even be increasing its Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program (TGS), the place it would check for brand spanking new and uncommon variants with nasal swabs from voluntary passengers arriving at worldwide U.S. airports. The program is at present in place at 5 main airports and is now being added to Los Angeles and Seattle, the place collectively, it would check roughly 500 flights from 30 totally different international locations per week to find out any new variants.
Other international locations such because the UK and Germany have mentioned they are going to be monitoring the situation closely, whereas some specialists predict that the U.K. and different international locations will quickly comply with go well with.
As the world continues to observe the COVID scenario intently, sure areas are taking precautionary measures to curb the unfold, reminiscent of bringing again masks mandates. Los Cabos has created masks mandates for indoor public settings and transportation, whereas different officers in cities like New York and Los Angeles are calling again for mask wearing in public areas.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com