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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to end mandatory Covid-19 tests for travelers from China this Friday. It will, however, continue to monitor flights from the country by keeping its Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program active.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to end on Friday mandatory Covid-19 tests for travelers from China, joining other countries in dropping the requirements, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

Last week, Japan dropped a requirement that everyone take a test for the virus upon arrival from China. The source told Reuters the U.S. would continue to monitor cases in China and around the world. The U.S. decision was reported earlier by the Washington Post.

The CDC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The U.S. in early January joined India, Canada, Italy, Japan and other countries in taking new measures after Beijing’s decision to lift stringent zero-Covid policies. It required new air passengers two and older to get a negative result from a test no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong or Macao.

China was battered with a surge in Covid-19 cases after it abruptly abandoned its zero-Covid policy in early December, unleashing the virus on its 1.4 billion population. In February, China’s top leaders declared a “major victory” over Covid, claiming the world’s lowest fatality rate, although experts have questioned that data.

The U.S. in December expanded its voluntary genomic sequencing program at airports, adding Seattle and Los Angeles.

The source told Reuters Tuesday the CDC would keep that program, known as the Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program (TGS), which asks travelers to volunteer to help with early detection of new variants.

TGS will continue to monitor flights from the China and regional transportation hubs, as well as flights from more than 30 other countries, the source said.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Gerry Doyle. Copyright (2023) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions

This article was written by David Shepardson from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].


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Tags: cdc, china, china travel, covid-19, tourism

Photo credit: Woman performing a Covid test. CandyRetriever / Getty Images

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