U.S. and Italy Will Introduce Mandatory COVID-19 Test for Arrivals from China

Every person over two years old arriving in the United States will have to show a negative result on a COVID test taken within two days of departure from mainland China.

The U.S. will begin requiring anyone arriving by air from China to submit a negative COVID-19 test as of January 5. This was announced by the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, reports Politico.

Under the new rules, anyone over the age of two will have to show a negative test result taken within two days of departure from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau airports.

The Biden administration took such measures to prevent the potential spread of new variants of COVID amid a sharp increase in the incidence of the coronavirus in China, the publication writes.

Italian Health Ministry head Horacio Scillaci said the country is introducing mandatory testing for the coronavirus, including antigen swabs and sequencing of the virus, for all those arriving from China.

“This measure is indispensable for surveillance and detection of any variants of the virus to protect the Italian population,” he said.

Chinese customs will eliminate the mandatory COVID test for those entering the country as of Jan. 8, 2023. However, all entrants will still have to provide customs with the results of a PCR test given 48 hours before crossing the border.

The Chinese authorities have long had a zero-tolerance policy for the coronavirus. The country maintained strict restrictions and quarantine, which could cover entire cities. Against this background, protests began in the country.

In the fall and winter of 2022, COVID outbreaks became more frequent in China. According to Bloomberg, Dec. 23 reported that a quarter of a billion people in China have been infected with the coronavirus since the beginning of December, which is about 18 percent of the country’s population. This represents the largest spike in coronavirus infection in China since the pandemic began.

Reuters, citing local sources, reported Dec. 28 that hospitals and funeral homes in China are facing a heavy workload after authorities lifted strict anti-coronavirus restrictions.