Skip to content
Menu

With inbound travel still languishing, mainland China scraps its PCR requirement

China’s foreign ministry says visitors now only need to produce a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

China’s foreign ministry says visitors now only need to produce a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:26 am

A negative PCR result will no longer be required from travellers to mainland China from 29 April, according to multiple media reports. Instead, travellers can provide a negative result from a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

The announcement was made by a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning, during a regular press briefing in Beijing.

While most countries have scrapped Covid-19 protocols, China has doggedly held onto the PCR rule, despite a low estimated COVID mortality rate (0.068 percent to 0.11 percent ) and the acquisition of herd immunity by 80 to 90 percent of the population. 

[See more: China reopens to foreigners, ending an effective ban imposed because of the pandemic]

The ending of the PCR requirement comes as China’s inbound travel figures languish at only 12.4 percent of their 2019 levels, according to official data. Reduced airline capacity, expensive fares, and delayed processing times for visa applications remain obstacles to recovery.

Subhas Menon, director general of the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines, has told media that it will take at least a year for China’s travel figures to get back to their pre-pandemic levels.

Outbound travel from China is also expected to remain muted for some time, analysts say.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:26 am

Send this to a friend