Mar 01, 2023 04:15 AM

China Eases Requirement of Negative Preflight Covid Tests for Some Countries

What’s new: Starting March 1, travelers from certain countries will no longer be required to provide negative nucleic acid test results before flying to China, but they will still need to show a negative rapid antigen test result upon arrival.

Chinese customs may randomly conduct nucleic acid tests among international arrivals, Chinese embassies including those in New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and Cambodia said in a notice. Those who test positive will be required to quarantine at home or in hospitals, the embassies said.

The relaxed policy will apply only to travelers on direct flights from certain countries. Travelers from other countries will still need to have a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours before departure. Airlines are also required to check passengers’ nucleic acid test results.

The background: China stopped requiring inbound travelers to go into quarantine and removed restrictions on international flights beginning Jan. 8 in a major step toward reopening the country’s borders after three years of stringent limits.

Some countries removed testing requirements for travelers from China. Starting March 1, South Korea will no longer require inbound travelers from China to be tested for Covid upon arrival, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing South Korean health authorities. However, the requirement for travelers from China to submit negative nucleic acid test results before departure will last until March 10.

Other countries such as France and Italy eased restrictions recently as the number of new infections in China dropped. The European Union plans to gradually lower Covid testing requirements for travelers from China by the end of February and will end random tests of travelers from China by mid-March, Bloomberg reported.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia ( and editor Bob Simison (

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