The US is planning to relax Covid-19 testing restrictions for travelers from China as soon as Friday, a source familiar told CNN Tuesday, citing a decline in Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths and more data surrounding the variants that were circulating in China.
In December, federal health officials announced that, starting January 5, the US would require all travelers from China to show a negative Covid test result before flying to the country after Beijing’s rapid easing of Covid restrictions led to a surge in cases.
The source said the order was put in place in an effort to protect US citizens following “a large wave of infections in the PRC,” coupled with “a lack of transparency” by Chinese officials surrounding the surge.
The Washington Post was first to report news of the relaxed travel restrictions.
The Biden administration still plans to monitor cases in China and around the world, keeping in place a Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance (TGS) program that surveys travelers on details around new variants.
This story is breaking and will be updated.