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COVID-19 Tests Required for Overseas Passengers Bounding for China since July 20

Published: Jul. 22, 2020

On July 20, China’s Civil Aviation Administration, General Administration of Customs, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have jointly declared an announcement that all the passengers abroad who want to arrive in China by airplane should have a coronavirus test before boarding. It is a must to provide a negative Covid-19 test result and the time cannot be over the 5-day frame.

According to the proclamation, the measure is mainly for international travelers’ safety and health and avoid the risks of transmitting virus across the border in the maximum extent. So far, it is still not clear whether it is a temporary measure or it will be implemented for a long time. Learn more detailed information about the announcement in the following paragraphs.

Joint Announcement for Overseas Passengers Bounding for China by Plane

1. Any passengers who bound for China are required to take a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 within 5 days before boarding the international flights to China. What’s more, all the tests should be carried out in the hospitals or medical institutions designated by Chinese embassies and consulates.

2. Foreign passengers should apply for a Health Declaration Certificate in Chinese embassies and consulates with the negative nucleic acid test result.

3. Passengers need to present the Health Certificate when boarding the flights. All the airlines are required to implement serious checks of these certificates and unqualified passengers should not be allowed to board their flights.

4. Passengers should be legally responsible for their information and certificates. Once offering fake certificates or false information, they will bear the legal liabilities.   

Background of the Announcement

As the coronavirus pandemic in some countries has been under control, more international flights have resumed recently among those countries. However, the risk of virus cross-border transmission is also growing accordingly.

In the past several weeks, China’s civil aviation regulator suspended several international flights because some passengers of the flights have been tested positive for COVID-19. The suspended flights include the Bangkok-Guangzhou flight SL117 operated by ThaiLionAir and the XJ808 flight between Bangkok and Tianjin by Thai AirAsia, both of which have been suspended since July 20 for a week.

These flights were suspend because of triggering the “reward and circuit breaker mechanism” made by China’s civil aviation regulator, which requires all the airlines to suspend flights or add more flights on the basis of the numbers of coronavirus positive-tested passengers. The mechanism ruled that the flight will be suspended for a week if over 5 (including 5) passengers have been tested positive while the air route will be suspended for 4 weeks if the number is more than 10 (including 10). On the contrary, if the number keeps 0 for three consecutive weeks, then the air route can add a flight every week, at most to two flights each week.

As the coronavirus nucleic acid test has become the most effective way to mitigate the virus transmission and the global pandemic is still severe, the requirement of offering a health certificate may last for a long time. Passengers who bound for China should make a full preparation and TCG will keep tracking the follow-ups. 

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