Air travelers to China need to show negative Covid-19 tests
Beijing, July 21 (efe-epa).- People flying into China must show negative Covid-19 test results before boarding their flights, the civil aviation administration announced on Tuesday.
The aviation regulator and the General Administration of Customs told state-owned China Daily that it would be mandatory for all passengers headed to China to undertake a nucleic acid test – also known as PCR test – within five days of boarding.
The tests need to be carried out at medical centers authorized by Chinese embassies.
Chinese citizens will have to upload photos of the test results to a “mini-program” of the popular Chinese social network WeChat, while foreigners would have to appear at the corresponding Chinese diplomatic mission to seek a valid health certificate before traveling.
At the time of boarding, the airline staff would be tasked with checking the health QR code of the Chinese or the certificate in the case of foreigners.
The inability to produce the document would result in being prevented from boarding the plane, and Chinese authorities have warned that those falsifying documents or information would face “legal responsibilities.”
Since late March, China has practically kept its borders sealed, having suspended the validity of all visas and resident permits of foreign citizens, allowing entry only through a special permit, which is generally granted to personnel considered essential.
It is also not easy for Chinese citizens to travel, as the civil aviation administration has reduced the number of international flights.
The authorities have warned that the government aims to sustain the restrictions until October, although gradually more and more foreign carriers are being permitted to restart their routes to the Asian country.
However, the few routes that have been opened are operating with just one or two flights per week, resulting in a seat shortage and prices rising to levels unaffordable for an average worker.
EFE’s queries with several European airlines in recent days have shown that it is impossible to buy a one-way ticket from the EU to China on a regular commercial flight during the next few weeks for less than 30,000 yuan (around $4,300). EFE-EPA