Starting from March 10, the United States will be easing Covid testing regulations for travelers coming from China.

The restrictions were put in place on December 28 last year and took effect on January 5 this year due to the spike in Covid infections in China after it suddenly eased pandemic curbs. Earlier, US health officials had expressed concerns that Beijing was not truthful to the world about the true number of infections and deaths.

In January, restrictions were imposed on travelers to the United States from China, Macau, and Hong Kong. These restrictions require individuals aged two and older, including American citizens, to take a Covid test no more than two days prior to travel and provide a negative test result before boarding their flight. The testing also applies to those traveling from China through a third country and those connecting through the US en route to other destinations. Passengers who tested positive for the virus more than 10 days prior to the flight can present documentation of recovery instead of a negative test result. Airlines are responsible for verifying negative test results and recovery documentation prior to boarding, according to the AP report.

In December of last year, China relaxed its zero Covid policy, which resulted in a surge in infections and fatalities. For several weeks, many regions of the country experienced overwhelmed hospitals, a shortage of antiviral medications, and full crematoriums due to the number of infected patients.

As a result of the deteriorating health crisis in China, many countries such as Japan, Italy, and Canada imposed restrictions on travelers from China.

Recently, Japan announced that it would be easing its Covid restrictions on travelers from China starting from March 1. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, stated during a press conference that instead of mandatory testing of all travelers from mainland China, the government would only conduct random testing of selected samples. However, travelers will still be required to show a negative test result before boarding their flights to Japan, according to Reuters news agency.

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