Traveling to China: Latest Regulations for Coronavirus Testing and Health Declaration

As the coronavirus continues to affect countries around the world, the Chinese government has implemented new regulations for travelers to ensure the safety of both visitors and residents. These regulations, which include mandatory coronavirus testing and the completion of a health declaration, will be in effect starting on January 8, 2023, Beijing time. It is important for all travelers to be aware of these regulations and to take the necessary precautions before embarking on their journey to China.

Testing Requirements

In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, all travelers to China are required to undergo a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test within 48 hours prior to their departure time. This test is used to detect the presence of the virus in the body and is necessary for travelers to receive clearance to enter China. Those with a negative test result will be allowed to travel, while those with a positive result will only be permitted to travel once they have received a negative test result. It is advisable for travelers to make arrangements for the PCR test as early as possible to ensure that they have enough time to complete the test and receive the results before their departure.

Transit passengers, or those traveling through a transit country to China, may also be required to undergo a PCR test. These travelers have the option to undergo the test either in their departure country or in a transit country within 48 hours prior to their departure time to China. It is important to note the time difference between the departure and transit locations and arrange the PCR test accordingly in terms of time and location. The Chinese embassies and consulates in the transit country have not designated or commissioned specific testing sites for travelers. Travelers may undergo the PCR test at any officially recognized testing sites or with their general practitioner in the transit country.

Health Declaration

In addition to the mandatory coronavirus test, travelers to China are required to complete a health declaration. This declaration, which can be completed through WeChat, the website, or the app of the Chinese customs office, is used to inform authorities of the traveler’s health status and to help prevent the spread of the virus. Starting on January 8, 2023, Beijing time, travelers to China will no longer be required to apply for a green QR code at the Chinese embassy or consulate. This QR code was previously used to confirm the completion of a health declaration.

Upon arrival in China, travelers will be subject to a routine infection control process by the customs office. Those whose health declarations are normal and do not exhibit any abnormalities will be allowed to enter the public. Those whose health declarations exhibit abnormalities and/or exhibit symptoms such as fever will be required to undergo a rapid test. If the test result is positive, travelers who have no or only mild symptoms and no severe pre-existing conditions may be allowed to self-isolate at home or take similar self-protective measures. All other travelers with a positive test result are strongly recommended to seek medical treatment. If the test result is negative, the customs office will follow the health and quarantine law at the time of border crossing and take routine infection prevention and control measures.

Important Notes for Travel to China

  • Please take self-protective measures before departing to minimize the risk of infection as much as possible.
  • Please ensure that you undergo a PCR test and provide a truthful health declaration in a timely manner before your departure to China.
  • These regulations will come into effect at midnight on January 8, 2023, Beijing time. They apply to all travelers whose planned arrival time in China is after this date. Travelers departing from a departure country to China on January 6, 2021, will still be required to apply for a green QR code.