Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement For Air Passengers Entering the U.S. from China, Effective January 5, 2023

Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement For Air Passengers Entering the U.S. from China, Effective January 5, 2023

On December 28, 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that travelers who have physically been present in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, within 10 days prior to travel will require a negative COVID-19 test result in order to board their flight to the U.S. 

The testing requirement will go into effect at 12:01am Eastern U.S. Time on January 5, 2023.

The full announcement can be viewed on the CDC website:

All air passengers two years and older originating from the PRC will be required to get a COVID-19 test (such as a PCR test or an antigen self-test administered and monitored by a telehealth service or a licensed provider and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or the relevant national authority) no more than 2 days before their departure from the PRC, Hong Kong, or Macau, and show a negative test result to the airline upon departure.  

Additional specifics from the announcement:

  • The requirement applies to these air passengers regardless of nationality and vaccination status.
  • This will also apply to persons traveling from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) via third country transit and to passengers connecting through the United States onward to further destinations.
  • Along with applying this requirement to direct flights from the PRC, passengers transiting Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport on their way to the United States will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test if they have been in the PRC in the last 10 days no more than 2 days before their departure to the United States.
  • Passengers must show one of the following to the airline or risk being denied boarding:
    (a) A paper or digital copy of negative COVID-19 viral test results taken within two days of boarding. Check the CDC website for a list of authorized  viral tests that meet the testing requirement, or
    (b) Documentation of recovery for passengers who tested positive more than 10 days and fewer than 90 days before boarding a flight to the United States.  See CDC page for details.
    (c) Airlines must confirm the negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before they board or deny boarding to the passenger.

The U.S. Department of State has also posted a “China Health Alert” on December 28, 2022 with the CDC announcement:

The MIT International Students Office (ISO) and the MIT International Scholars Office (ISchO) will provide updates as they are published by the U.S. Government on the Major Immigration Alerts & Updates webpage ( and via email. 

If you have any questions during the Winter Break, please contact the MIT International Students Office ( or International Scholars Office ( and an advisor will be back in contact with you urgently. 

As a reminder, most MIT offices will re-open for in-person office hours on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.