Jan 05, 2022 06:33 PM

China Toughens Covid Testing Rules for U.S. Travelers as Omicron Rages

What’s new: The Chinese Embassy in the United States has updated its preflight Covid-19 testing requirements for all China-bound travelers, including foreign and Chinese nationals, according to a Wednesday statement. The new requirements come amid a surge in Covid-19 cases of infections by the more transmissible Omicron variant in the U.S.

All travelers are required to stay at their city of departure for seven days of personal health observation. During the period, they are also required to complete two rounds of pre-flight tests at designated testing agencies — on the first day of the seven-day stay, and within 48 hours prior to their flight, respectively.

For passengers who received inactivated Covid-19 vaccines, such as those developed by China-produced Sinopharm and Sinovac, they must conduct two rounds of nucleic acid testing (NATs) during the personal health observation period.

For the unvaccinated and those who received non-inactivated vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna, they must first complete a round of nucleic acid testing and then a round of combined testing, including NAT, and IgM antibody tests against the spike(S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins.

What’s more: The embassy said in the statement that the requirements were updated amid the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. involving the Omicron variant, which has in turn led to more imported cases from the U.S. into China.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua ( and editor Bertrand Teo ( 

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