CDC Advises U.S. Travelers to 'Reconsider Travel' to China Following January Quarantine Lift

The CDC has also implemented a COVID-19 testing policy for travelers entering the U.S. from China starting Jan. 5.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising American travelers to "reconsider travel" to China as the country is slated drop its strict quarantine policy on Jan. 8.

Along with the agency's advice to American travelers, released on Wednesday, the CDC will also require individuals from China to take a COVID-19 test no more than 48 hours ahead of their arrival to the U.S.

The requirement will begin on Jan. 5 and applies to travelers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau — except those under two years old — regardless of their vaccination status.

The alert and testing requirement for incoming travelers comes days after China's National Health Commission announced it will remove its quarantine requirement for incoming passengers next month, the Associated Press reported. The change would reverse its long-standing policy forcing all incoming travelers to quarantine for five days at a hotel, followed by three days at home.

Hong Kong will also scrap nearly all of its COVID-19 protocols, its tourism board shared with Travel + Leisure.

Tourists in China
Tourists visit the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

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The CDC's precaution comes as China is still seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, as well as concerns of the People's Republic of China (PRC)'s lack of transparency when it comes to cases.

"Reduced testing and case reporting in the PRC and minimal sharing of viral genomic sequence data could delay the identification of new variants of concern if they arise," the CDC wrote in a news release shared on Wednesday.

When it comes to U.S. travelers making their way to China, options for flights may not be as readily available as in the past. For instance, Reuters reported this week that United Airlines — which offers four flights weekly between San Francisco and Shanghai — is "evaluating the market demand and operating environment to determine when to resume additional flight operations to mainland China."

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