Countries and regions to impose entry restrictions on Chinese arrivals

Zhu Qing
China's Taiwan as well as countries such as the United States, Japan, India and South Korea are considering increasing entry requirements for travellers from China.
Zhu Qing

Since COVID-19 was downgraded to Category B in China on Monday, China's mainland has announced plans to abolish polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and quarantine for inbound travellers while Hong Kong and Macau have also eased entry restrictions, making international exchanges more convenient.

However, China's Taiwan as well as countries such as the United States, Japan, India and South Korea are considering increasing entry requirements for travellers from China.

In response, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that each country should take appropriate and scientific preventive measures, without affecting normal personnel exchanges.

"We look forward to the further resumption of people-to-people exchanges and more convenient travel between China and other countries," Wang added.

What is the current entry policy of each country and region?

United States: An anonymous US official said on Wednesday that Washington is considering new entry controls on inbound travellers from China, according to Bloomberg News. The US had dropped the requirement for passengers to show a negative PCR proof while inbound since June 12.

Japan: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday that from December 30, passengers who have been or stayed in China within seven days will be required to take a test upon arrival in Japan, and if they test positive, they will have to undergo a seven-day quarantine. Japan is also considering limiting the number of flights from China.

South Korea: The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency added China to the target countries for quarantine at Incheon International Airport on December 16, and travellers and their companions must have body temperature not exceeding 37.3°C, Yonhap News Agency reported.

India: Travellers from China's mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and South Korea must take RT-PCR tests while inbound, and those who are symptomatic or positive will be quarantined. In addition, from December 24, 2 percent of passengers on every international flight will be selected for a random PCR test, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Italy: Starting from December 24, Milan's Malpensa Airport has been conducting nucleic acid tests for all passengers arriving from China, regardless of nationality. The policy is temporarily in effect until January 30, 2023, according to ViaggiareSicuri, the website of the External Affairs Ministry.

Taiwan, China: From January 1, 2023, mainland travelers to Taiwan will be required to undergo PCR testing and self-screening for seven days, according to news portal

Hong Kong, China: Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announced at a press conference on Wednesday that all mandatory PCR tests will be abolished from Thursday.

Macau, China: The "Red QR code" and PCR test was scrapped for Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign arrivals from the midnight of December 23. However, the ban on travelling to the mainland via Macau until midnight on the 10th day following the date of entry will remain, according to the website of the Macau government.

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