Coronavirus: China requires US passengers provide negative COVID-19 test results

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China will require passengers arriving on direct flights from the US to provide negative Covid-19 nucleic-acid test results taken within 72 hours of the flight.

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Passengers traveling from the US to China, and those transiting in any country that the Chinese government has listed as requiring the screening, must have negative Covid-19 results from a test done within three days of boarding at the last layover destination, China’s embassy in America said in a statement on Friday. Both sets of rules will take effect September 15.

Passengers who transit in the US before flying to China will be required to submit a health declaration to the airlines or hold a green health code, according to the statement.

China’s new requirement is the latest in a series of restrictions imposed on US citizens by Beijing, and counter measures taken by Washington, because of the pandemic and a deterioration in relations between the world’s two biggest economies.

In early June, China barred US airlines from restarting service to the Asian nation, prompting the Trump administration to threaten a suspension of passenger flights to the US by Chinese carriers. While Beijing eased its ban, allowing US airlines to each operate one flight a week to China, the American Administration said China was continuing to violate its airlines’ rights and would only permit two flights a week in total from Chinese carriers.

At the end of January, US President Donald Trump signed an order that temporarily barred foreign nationals who had visited China unless they were immediate relatives of US citizens or permanent residents, and said that flights from China would be restricted to just seven US airports.

Coronavirus cases in the US increased to 6.18 million on Friday, with the number of deaths rising to 187,200.

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