BEIIJING (AP) — Travelers 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.
Travelers can instead show a negative antigen test result taken within 48 hours before boarding, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters Tuesday.
Over the last three years, China imposed an array of anti-virus controls to try to eliminate the virus from the community, including lockdowns and regular mass testing. But after the rules hammered the economy and sparked protests, the government suddenly rolled back its onerous measures in December and made a major step to drop its quarantine rule in early January.
Last month, the country resumed the issuance of all types of visas as part of its efforts to revive tourism. Still, it has kept PCR testing requirements for passengers arriving from some countries — a costly requirement that was a major deterrent for visitors to return.
“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.
She added airlines will no longer check test results before departure.