US to End Mandatory COVID-19 Tests for Travellers from China

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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to end mandatory COVID-19 tests for travellers from China on Friday, according to a source briefed on the matter.

The move follows other countries, including Japan, dropping similar requirements for travellers from China.

Continued Monitoring of Cases

The United States will continue to monitor cases of COVID-19 in China and around the world, the source said. The CDC has yet to comment on the situation.

The United States, along with India, Canada, Italy, Japan, and other countries, implemented new measures in early January in response to Beijing’s decision to lift stringent zero-COVID policies.

This included requiring new air passengers, aged two and older, to provide a negative test result taken no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong, or Macao.

After abandoning its zero-COVID policy in early December, China experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases, resulting in a virus outbreak in its 1.4 billion-person population.

In February, China’s leaders claimed a “major victory” over COVID-19 with the world’s lowest fatality rate, although some experts have questioned the validity of the data.

In December, the United States added Seattle and Los Angeles to its voluntary genomic sequencing programme at airports. The Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance Program (TGS) asks travellers to volunteer to assist in the early detection of new variants.

TGS Continues to Monitor Flights

The source informed Reuters on Tuesday that the CDC will continue the TGS program, which will monitor flights from China and regional transportation hubs, as well as flights from over 30 other countries.

(With Inputs from Reuters)

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