US rolls back recent Covid testing rules for travelers from China

(CNN) People wishing to travel from China to the United States will find it easier from Friday.

The special Covid testing rules for people traveling from China and its administrative areas, which were put in place on January 5 during a large outbreak of cases in China, were officially canceled at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press release.

A source had told CNN earlier this week that the CDC order is expected to be dropped as early as Friday.

This means that travelers departing from China, Hong Kong, Macau and a few designated airports elsewhere will no longer have to submit to a pre-flight test to obtain a negative result or show documents of recent recovery from Covid-19 to board a flight in the United States

The CDC said in its Friday press release that the order was put in place due to “concerns that Covid-19 cases are increasing in the [People’s Republic of China].

“At that time, mitigation measures were largely not known to be used in the PRC, and there were significant gaps in data and information on cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”

Why has the order been lifted now?

The CDC said it was now more confident that things had improved in China.

“Epidemiological data currently available through global datasets and modeling results indicate that the Covid-19 surge experienced by the PRC has returned to a baseline measure,” the statement said.

The CDC also said no variants of concern have emerged from China.

The agency said it would work with other agencies “to monitor travel patterns” between China and the United States and “adjust its approach as necessary.”

The repealed new order was signed by CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky. Click here to read the full order.

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