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Key Points

  • A new COVID-19 entry requirement has been announced for air travelers to the US from China
  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test results or recovery will be required starting January 5, 2023
  • The requirement applies to air travelers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau
  • Air travelers under age two are exempt
  • Travelers who have had COVID-19 may provide proof of recovery before their flight
  • Airlines must check for proof of recovery or negative COVID-19 test results before allowing passengers to board


On December 28, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a new COVID-19 entry requirement for travelers entering the US from China. The new requirement will take effect on January 5, 2023.

Following a surge in COVID-19 cases in China, the US is imposing an entry requirement to mitigate the spread of the disease. Several other countries have implemented entry restrictions for travelers from China as well. Air travelers who are flying to the US on flights originating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong, and Macau must show a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of recovery before they can enter the US. Beginning January 5, 2023, all air passengers aged two and older who are originating from one of the regions above must take a COVID-19 test, such as a PCR test or an antigen self-test, that is administered by a telehealth service provider or a licensed provider and also authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or relevant national authority within two days of the individual’s departure date. Travelers must also provide their airline with a negative test result before departing.

Who is Affected?

The new mandate applies to all eligible travelers departing from the regions above, regardless of their vaccination status and nationality. The requirement also applies to people transiting through the PRC and those transiting through the US to other destinations. Along with people originating from the affected regions, travelers who are flying from certain airports, including the Incheon International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, and Toronto Pearson International Airport, must provide a negative COVID-19 test result if they have been in the PRC within ten days before flying to the US.

Travelers who tested positive for COVID-19 more than ten days before their flight can provide documentation proving their recovery instead of a negative test result. The airline must confirm the negative test result or recovery documentation before permitting or denying a passenger’s boarding.

Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Dmitri Pikman, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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