As of March 10, 2023 at 3pm ET, there is no longer a COVID test requirement for air travelers coming from mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nonimmigrants traveling to the United States from abroad remain subject to COVID vaccination requirements, unless eligible for an exception.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is lifting the COVID testing requirement for air travelers originating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. As of March 10, 2023 at 3pm ET, travelers from these areas are not required to provide a negative COVID test or documentation of COVID recovery in order to board a flight to the United States.
In rescinding the testing requirement, the CDC states that current available data indicates the COVID-19 surge recently experienced by the PRC has returned to a baseline level and that no variants of concern have been identified as emerging from the PRC at this time.
The COVID testing policy had been in effect since January 5, 2023 and impacted airline passengers two years of age and older traveling from mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau, as well as travelers from certain designated foreign transit hubs who had been in those countries within 10 days prior to departure. Affected passengers were required to provide either a negative COVID test taken within two days before departure or documentation of COVID recovery in order to travel to the United States. The requirement applied to travelers regardless of nationality or vaccination status – including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
What this means for travelers
Travelers from the PRC, Hong Kong and Macau are no longer subject to a COVID testing requirement in order to board a flight to the United States. However, rules requiring COVID vaccination for international nonimmigrant travelers remain in effect; nonimmigrants must continue to attest to and provide proof of COVID vaccination before boarding a flight to the United States, unless eligible for an exception.