Around the world: Covid-19 rules for travellers from China

The US will impose mandatory Covid-19 tests on travellers from China beginning on Jan 5. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - Several places around the world have imposed curbs on travellers from China amid a Covid-19 surge after Beijing relaxed strict zero-Covid measures. They cite a lack of information from China on variants and are concerned about a wave of infections.

China has rejected criticism of its statistics and said it expects future mutations to be potentially more virulent but less severe.

Below is a list of rules for travellers from China:

United States

The US will impose mandatory Covid-19 tests on travellers from China beginning on Jan 5. All air passengers 2 and older will require a negative result from a test no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention also said Americans should also reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.


The UK will require a pre-departure negative Covid-19 test from passengers from China as of Jan 5, the Department of Health said on Friday.


France will require travellers from China to provide a negative Covid-19 test result less than 48 hours before departure, the health and transport ministries said on Friday.

From Jan 1, France will also carry out random PCR Covid-19 tests upon arrival on some travellers coming from China, a government official told reporters.


India will make a Covid-19 negative test mandatory for flyers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand from Jan 1, the health minister said on Thursday. Travellers from these places would have to upload their test reports on an India government website before their departure, minister Mansukh Mandaviya wrote on Twitter. 


Japan will require a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival for travellers from mainland China. Those who test positive will be required to quarantine for seven days. New border measures for China will go into effect at midnight on Dec 30. The government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China. Hong Kong’s government has asked Japan to withdraw a restriction that requires passenger flights from the financial hub to land at four designated Japanese airports, saying the decision will affect about 60,000 passengers.


The country has ordered Covid-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travellers coming from China. Milan’s main airport, Malpensa, had already started testing passengers arriving from Beijing and Shanghai. “The measure is essential to ensure surveillance and detection of possible variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population”, minister Orazio Schillaci said, when announcing mandatory testing for passengers.


Spain will require a negative Covid-19 test or a full course of vaccination against the disease upon arrival for travellers from China, the country’s Health Minister Carolina Darias said.


Malaysia will screen all inbound travellers for fever and test wastewater from aircraft arriving from China for Covid-19, Minister Zaliha Mustafa said in a statement.


People who travel from mainland China to Taiwan during January will be subject to PCR testing upon arrival, according to the Taiwan Centres for Disease Control. Those who test positive will need to serve a five-day home quarantine.

South Korea

Effective from Jan 5, travellers from China would be required to submit a negative result from a PCR test no more than 48 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before departure, and undergo another PCR test upon arrival starting Jan 2, officials said.


Israel’s health ministry said it will impose Covid-19 tests on foreign travellers intending to travel from China. “It was decided to order that foreign airlines only accept foreign citizens on a flight from China to Israel if they have tested (negative) for Covid,” Health Minister Aryeh Deri said in a statement.

Countries monitoring situation


The Ministry of Health (MOH) stands ready to step up border health measures if necessary, and is closely monitoring the global Covid-19 situation. As air travel with China is progressively restored, MOH will take a cautious approach towards increasing seat capacity on planes, taking into account the overall public health assessment. Non-fully vaccinated travellers entering Singapore continue to require a pre-departure test within two days before departure. 


The country said it was making no change to its rules around allowing travellers from China in. “There is no change in the travel advice at this point in time but we are continuing to monitor the situation, as we continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 here in Australia as well as around the world,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.


Germany said it did not currently see the need to impose entry restrictions, but argued for a coordinated EU-wide system to monitor variants at European airports.


The country is being “very cautious” and could impose measures such as testing requirements on visitors from China, but not an outright ban, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said. REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

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