(TheRedAlertNews.com) – The administration of President Joe Biden has ordered COVID-19 tests mandatory for travelers from China amid an explosion of cases after the Chinese regime lifted its zero-COVID policies.
The US has become the fifth country to mandate tests of travelers from China, after India, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan already adopted the restriction, Reuters reported, as cited by Newsmax.
US government officials said all air passengers departing for the United States would have to provide a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken no earlier than two days before departure.
The new policy will apply to China and its autonomous districts of Hong Kong and Macao. It will enter into force as of January 5, 2023, and will apply to air passengers aged two or older.
Instead of a negative test result, travelers who had COVID-19 more than ten days before a flight can provide recovery documentation.
Earlier this month, the government of Communist China started to reverse what had been the strictest COVID-19 regime in the world after the country saw unprecedented mass anti-government street riots.
The report notes that with lockdowns and extensive testing abolished, the coronavirus began spreading “largely unchecked.”
It cites global health experts as saying China could be seeing 1 million infections per day, although some reports have claimed there were already tens of millions of new cases daily.
According to forecasts by international modeling groups, the end of the zero-COVID policies could mean upwards of 2 million more deaths in China.
In comments earlier this week, US officials said the “lack of transparent data” from China about coronavirus infections and fatalities is among the reasons for the potential introduction of new travel restrictions.
It is noted that the US and China have taken “markedly different approaches” to fighting COVID-19 during the pandemic.
As the US experienced high infection rates early on, China’s government argued its model of draconian pandemic measures had saved lives.
China has not authorized foreign mRNA vaccines yet and has a lower vaccination rate among its elderly population.
Chinese government data from last week showed that while the country has an overall vaccination rate of over 90%, that of adults with booster shots stood at 57.9%, dropping to 42.3% for people aged 80 and older.
The country’s authorities have approved nine COVID-19 vaccines produced domestically, but none of those is updated to fight the Omicron variant.
In June, the US government ended a rule of 17 months requiring arriving air travelers to provide negative tests for COVID-19.
Vaccination is still required for most non-US citizens to travel to the United States.
BREAKING: The United States will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests on travelers from China, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday, joining India, Italy, Japan and Taiwan in taking new measures after Beijing's decision to lift stringent zero-COVID policies. https://t.co/BSyd2Xyhcw pic.twitter.com/dlMRznrdog
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) December 28, 2022