China Travel: Relaxed Testing Requirements For Travellers From Malaysia

China travel is even easier now. On March 1, 2023, Chinese authorities relaxed Covid-19 testing requirements for travellers from several countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia and New Zealand. Travellers departing from these countries and flying directly to China can take an Antigen Rapid Test within 48 hours before boarding.

This means that the previous requirement, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 48 hours before departure is no longer required. Travellers are required to declare their negative test results on the China Customs website or through its app. According to the notice, airlines are no longer required to check a passenger’s negative PCR or ART results.

Travellers are to go through customs with their health declaration results. Random sampling inspections may be done by China Customs. “Passengers are required to travel to China with a negative test result. If you received a positive test result, you should only travel to China when you tested negative for COVID-19,” the Chinese embassy in Singapore said in a notice on March 1, 2023.

The relaxed requirement also applies to travellers from Indonesia, Thailand, Switzerland and Russia. However, PCR test results are still required for travellers from many countries, including the United States, South Korea and Japan.

Below is a recap of the travel requirements to enter China and Hong Kong at the start of 2023.

Travel News: China Travel is Possible & It’s Now Easier to Enter Hong Kong

Hong Kong is working to resume quarantine-free travel with mainland China by January 8, 2023. | Credit: Manson Yim via Unsplash

Hong Kong Removes mandatory PCR test on incoming visitors

All passengers travelling to Hong Kong will no longer be required to undergo a PCR test upon arrival. Starting December 29, 2022, travellers are only required to present a negative result from RT-PCR tests conducted within 48 hours or rapid antigen tests (RAT) taken within 24 hours of arrival.

Do note that only fully vaccinated non-Hong Kong residents are allowed entry. Those who cannot get vaccinated for Covid-19 due to medical reasons must have valid proof.

China Travel: Easier to enter Hong Kong
Hong Kong and China’s governments have stopped using their mobility-tracking app governing access to restaurants and venues such as gyms, clubs and salons. | Credit: JW Marriott Hong Kong

In addition, travellers going to Hong Kong will no longer get an Amber Health code and can freely move around the city. This means they can freely visit bars, restaurants and shopping malls. Vaccination checks are no longer mandated. Mask-wearing is still required on public transport,  in an MTR-paid area and in other specific places.

When arriving in Hong Kong, all inbound visitors must pass temperature checks. Those found with symptoms will be referred to the Department of Health. Visitors are encouraged to use rapid antigen test (RAT) kits on the day of their arrival (i.e. Day 0) until Day 5 after they arrive in Hong Kong. Results and health status can be voluntarily reported online.

China Travel: Country Restrictions on Travellers From the mainland

china shanghai night street
China is expected to see multiple waves of Covid-19 infections as the Omicron variant mutates. | Credit: Nuno Alberto via Unsplash

As China prepares to reopen its borders on January 8, 2023, countries are quick to announce new restrictions on travellers from the world’s biggest population. Here are some of the new measures:

  • The US and UK are reintroducing compulsory pre-flight Covid tests for people flying from China. This new restriction will go into effect on January 3 in the US, and from January 5 in the U. A sample of passengers will also be subject to testing upon arrival in the UK.
  • Italy is the first European country to require such testing so far. Among one of the first flights subjected to testing, more than a third of all its passengers tested positive for this disease. Those that test positive will have to quarantine.
  • Japan requires travellers from China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, to test on arrival. This measure commenced on December 30, 2022. Those that test positive will be required to quarantine for seven days.
  • Travellers from China will be required to undergo a Covid-19 test before and after arriving in South Korea. The government also said it would restrict issuing short-term visas for Chinese nationals until the end of January and temporarily halt increasing the number of flights between the neighbouring countries.
  • France will also require travellers from China to present a negative test result no less than 48 hours before departure. Passengers will also be required to wear a mask in flight and commit to undergoing random testing on arrival.
Travel Spain 2023
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) listed three small towns in Spain on its list of best villages to visit worldwide. These Spanish villages were recognised for their sheer beauty, medieval History and inestimable cultural value. | Credit: Spain Tourism Board
  • Spain will require travellers from China to provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination. The country recognises all WHO-approved vaccines, including Sinovac and Sinopharm.
  • People travelling from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to Australia must show a negative Covid test taken 48 hours before travel. This will be required from January 5, 2023.
  • From January 5, 2023, all air travellers over the age of two arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau will be required to provide a negative test result no more than two days before their departure or proof of a recent Covid-19 infection.
  • As of January 1, 2023, India will require travellers arriving from China and Hong Kong, as well as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand, to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure.
  • Morocco is the first country to ban entry to all travellers coming from China.
  • In Malaysia, all travellers arriving must undergo temperature checks for fever. Those who are found to be feverish, symptomatic or have self-declared Covid-19 symptoms will be referred to a quarantine centre or the health authorities for further checks. Those with a history of travelling to China within 14 days of arrival will be required to undergo an RTK-Antigen test.
China Travel is possible in 2023
Chinese New Year festival falls on January 22, 2023. This is the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac. | Credit: Scribbling Geek via Unsplash
ARE YOU Planning to travel during the CNY HOlidays?
REACH OUT TO US AT +603 2303 9100 OR
[email protected]

You may also be interested in: