China to Scrap PCR Test Requirement for International Travellers

Travellers entering China will no longer need to provide a negative PCR test result starting from Saturday, in another easing of China's 'zero-Covid' policies. Travellers can instead show a negative antigen test result taken within 48 hours before boarding, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters Tuesday.
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Starting from this Saturday, travellers entering China will no longer be required to provide a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result, marking another significant easing of China’s “zero-Covid” policies.

This announcement was made by Mao Ning, the spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry during a press conference on Tuesday.

Antigen Tests to Replace PCR Tests

Travellers can instead show a negative antigen test result taken within 48 hours before boarding their flight to China. This change comes as a relief for many travellers, as PCR tests are known to be more expensive and take longer to process than antigen tests.

“To further facilitate cross-border travel, China is taking new steps to refine pre-departure testing requirements guided by the principle of ensuring safe and orderly travel and keeping the measures science-based and well-targeted,” Mao said.

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As part of its efforts to boost tourism, the nation started issuing all types of visas again last month. However, it continued to require PCR testing for travellers arriving from certain nations, a pricey requirement that significantly discouraged tourists.

China’s Three-Year-Long Fight Against COVID-19

China’s rigorous anti-virus measures have been in place for the last three years, with the aim of eliminating the virus from the community. These measures have included lockdowns, regular mass testing, and strict border controls.

Also Read: China to Resume Group Tour to 40 More Countries Starting March 15

Concerns over the Potential Resurgence of the Virus

Many believe that China’s shift towards relaxing its strict anti-virus measures is driven by the need to revive its economy. With the world still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, China hopes to attract more foreign tourists and businesses to the country.

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China’s decision to scrap the PCR test requirement for inbound travellers is likely to be welcomed by many, as it will make travel to China more accessible and affordable. However, the move has also raised concerns among some experts, who fear that it may lead to a surge in imported cases and a potential resurgence of the virus in China.

Towards a More Open and Connected World

Despite these concerns, China’s move towards easing its strict anti-virus measures is a positive step towards a more open and connected world, as countries work together to navigate the ongoing pandemic.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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