People who want to fly from China to the U.S. will have an easier time of it starting Friday.
Special Covid testing rules for people traveling from China and its administrative areas, which were put in place on January 5 during a big outbreak of cases in China, were officially rescinded at 3 p.m. ET Friday, according to a news release from the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
A source had told CNN earlier this week that the CDC order was expected to be dropped as soon as Friday.
What this means is travelers departing from China, Hong Kong, Macau and a few designated airports located elsewhere will no longer have to submit to a pre-flight test to get a negative result or show documentation of recent recovery from Covid-19 to board a flight to the U.S.
The CDC said in its Friday news release that the order was put in place because of “concerns that Covid-19 cases were surging in the [People’s Republic of China].
“At that time, mitigation measures were largely not known to be in use 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 now has more confidence things have gotten better in China.
“Current available epidemiologic data through global data sets and modeling results indicate that the Covid-19 surge experienced by the PRC has returned to a baseline measure,” the release said.
The CDC also said that no variants of concern have emerged from China.
The agency said it will work with other agencies “to monitor travel patterns” between China and the U.S. and “adjust its approach as needed.”
The new, rescinded order was signed by Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC. Click here to read the full order.