China has announced that starting 29 April, inbound travellers will
no longer be required to provide a negative PCR test result upon
arrival. Instead, a negative antigen test result taken within 48 hours
before boarding will suffice.
The move is part of China's efforts to revive tourism and further
ease its ‘zero Covid’ policies, which were implemented over the last
three years to eliminate the coronavirus from the country.
China’s sudden decision to drop its quarantine rule in early January
was a major step in loosening the stringent measures that had hammered
the economy and sparked protests.
Last month, China resumed issuing visas as part of its efforts to
revive tourism, but prevailing PCR testing requirements for passengers
arriving from some countries remained a deterrent for visitors.
PCR tests are highly accurate but cost time and money, while antigen
tests are easier to obtain. The move to replace PCR testing with antigen
testing is expected to facilitate cross-border travel and help boost
According to AP News, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning
said the new policy is guided by the principle of ensuring safe and
orderly travel, keeping the measures science-based and well-targeted.
Airlines will no longer be required to check test results before
An official of the National Health Commission, He Qinghua, reported
that the number of Covid-19 cases in early April had dropped to the
lowest level since December. While the figures have risen slightly since
mid-April, He said that massive outbreaks in the short term are