CDC Mandates Negative COVID-19 Test Results for Air Travelers From China

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

On Dec. 28, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a new COVID-19 entry requirement for travelers entering the U.S. from China. The mandate takes effect on Jan. 5, 2023 at 12:01 am Eastern Time (ET).  

Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in China, the U.S., along with numerous other countries, is imposing an entry requirement to mitigate the spread of disease. Air travelers who are entering the U.S. on flights originating from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Macau must demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of recovery before entering the U.S.  

Starting on Jan. 5, 2023, all air passengers aged two and older originating from one of the regions above must take a COVID-19 test, such as a PCR test or an antigen self-test, that is administered by a telehealth service provider or a licensed provider, and also authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or relevant national authority within two days of the individual’s departure date. Travelers must also provide their airline with a negative test result before departing.  

The new mandate applies to all eligible travelers departing from the regions above, regardless of their nationality and vaccination status. The requirement also applies to people transiting through the PRC and those traveling through the U.S. to other destinations. Along with people originating from the affected regions, travelers flying from certain airports, including the Incheon International Airport, Vancouver International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport must provide a negative COVID-19 test result if they have been in the PRC within 10 days before flying to the U.S.  

Travelers who tested positive for COVID-19 more than 10 days before their flight can provide documentation proving their recovery instead of a negative test result. The airline must confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery before they can either permit or deny a passenger’s boarding.  


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Paloma Stevens, who is a Managing Attorney at Global Immigration Associates (GIA), one of the two independent U.S. law firms Envoy exclusively works with on the Envoy Platform (the "U.S. Law Firms").       

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.