Shanghai initiates 'landing PCR test' for all arrivals

Yang Jian
Every traveler coming or returning to Shanghai must take a nucleic acid test upon arrival, otherwise a pop-up notification will cover their mobile phone health code app.
Yang Jian

Every traveler coming or returning to Shanghai must take a nucleic acid test upon arrival, otherwise a pop-up notification will cover their health code app, the city's COVID-19 prevention authority said on Monday.

The "landing test," or "arrival test," stipulated by the State Council, or China's cabinet, is applicable to all arrivals to Shanghai through November 15 to curb the spread of the coronavirus during the holiday season.

They can receive the free PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test voluntarily upon arrival and will be allowed to move freely immediately after the test, the city's COVID-19 prevention and control leaders' office announced.

"All arrivals are required to receive a PCR test within 24 hours. Those who fail to do so in 48 hours will get a pop-up notification on their health code," the office said in a statement.

Such a pop-up window will prevent travelers from displaying their suishenma health code, banning them from accessing most of Shanghai's public services, transport and places. It will disappear right after the traveler gets a PCR test record.

Additional PCR sample collection sites have therefore been set up at local airports, railway stations, interprovincial highway service sections, toll stations and other entries to the city.

Checkpoints with venue codes and digital sentries, or the integrated code scanning and temperature check machines, will be set up alongside the PCR sites.

Travelers with a red health code or those who had been to high-risk, locked-down or key domestic regions (counties that have any high-risk area) will be put under quarantine immediately.

People with a yellow code, along with those without a negative PCR report within 48 hours, will be taken to the nearest PCR sample collection site to undergo a test immediately.

The new measure will be adjusted according to the pandemic situation, the office noted.

"Shanghai is facing a severe risk of COVID-19 transmission from other provinces and cities, where new rounds of resurgence have been reported in multiple places," a city official said.

Most of the recent positive cases detected in Shanghai came from other provinces and cities, he added.

Shanghai initiates 'landing PCR test' for all arrivals

A resident provides an oral swab sample for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at a regular sample collection site in Shanghai.

The "arrival test" can detect infections early, spare additional time for the follow-up epidemiological investigation and the tracing of close and secondary contacts as well as prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Those who cause the spread of the coronavirus just because they refuse to receive the arrival test will be held legally responsible.

The city and central governments have unveiled a slew of new measures to prevent massive coronavirus transmissions ahead of the weeklong holiday for National Day, which falls on October 1.

People are likely to take interprovincial trips with family members or friends during the "golden week" holiday.

Shanghai has stipulated that people traveling or returning to the city from other provinces must report their itinerary online before arrival. The city government has launched a new mobile phone app on the suishenban e-governance platform for every arrival to make a declaration.

Travelers and returning citizens are required to fill in their detailed travel information, including where they have stayed, been to or passed by along with their local addresses and contacts.

Meanwhile, the State Council has stipulated that travelers must have a 48-hour negative nucleic acid test report, rather than the 72-hour previously mandated, to take planes and trains as well as inter-provincial coaches and ships through the end of October.

It has also noted that regular screening is "necessary" for all regions, even those without infections at present.

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