Updated travel rules announced for UAE-China passengers

An employee, wearing an hazmat suit, prepares to do a Covid-19 pcr test to new arrivals at Beijing Capital International Airport. (Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Passengers travelling from the UAE to China will have to take a 48-hour valid Covid-19 PCR test, as the country gears up to drop quarantine rules for international travellers.

Last month, China announced that it will stop requiring inbound travellers to go into quarantine starting from January 8.

The announcement by the country's National Health Commission is being seen a major step towards easing curbs on its borders, which have been largely shut since 2020.

According to a notice issued by the Embassy and Consulate General of China in the UAE, from January 8, China-bound passengers from the UAE will need to complete one PCR test within 48 hours prior to boarding a flight. 

Those with negative test results will need to make a health declaration to the China Customs authority before travelling to China without the need to apply for an HS/HDC QR Code from the Embassy or Consulate General of China in the UAE.

China-bound passengers will be able to submit their PCR test results within 48 hours prior to boarding a flight through the WeChat mini-program Customs Pocket Declaration, the website, or Pocket Customs APP.

Currently, only certain categories of foreign travellers are allowed into the country. They are required to quarantine for 5‑days in designated facilities at the passenger’s expense followed by an additional 3 days of mandatory home quarantine.

On January 8th, China's management of COVID-19 will be downgraded to the less strict Category B from the current top-level Category A, as the disease has become less virulent and will gradually evolve into a common respiratory infection.

Three years of zero-tolerance measures, from shuttered borders to frequent lockdowns, have battered China's economy, fuelling last month the mainland's biggest show of public discontent since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.

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