New COVID-19 rules for Indians going to China announced
New Delhi, Nov 14: The pre-departure COVID-19 protocols for Indians planning to come to China have been simplified according to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. The easing of the rules were announced by Chinese embassies in several countries as Beijing began lifting some of its COVID-19 control measures on international travel.
Indian passengers travelling to China only need to take one nucleic acid (RT-PCR) test within 48 hours before boarding the flight to China, and apply for Green Health Code with a negative certificate, the embassy announced while adding the it would come into effect starting Monday.
"Passengers travelling to China can choose any place in India or in transit according to their itinerary, within 48 hours before boarding the flight to China, and apply for Green Health Code from the Embassy or Consulate where the test will be conducted. The airline will check passengers with a valid Green Health Code and will not check the place of issue," the statement added.
Passengers will be required to show "Certificates of vaccination of Chinese-made vaccines or vaccines approved for use by WHO (World Health Organisation), if having been already vaccinated, it added.
"No extra requirements for passengers with a history of Covid-19 infection, close contact, suspected symptoms, and PCR test results showing Presumptive Positive and Equivocal results. All passengers can apply for Green Health Code with one Negative nucleic acid (RT-PCR) test result within 48 hours before departure," the Chinese embassy said.
This would mean that passengers flying from India to China but transiting through a third country would not need to get a COVID-19 test done in the third or transiting country. This would be applicable as long as the journey from India to China takes less than 48 hours, the negative COVID-19 test result from India will be valid. This is an important announcement as currently there are no direct flights between India and China at present.
Nucleic acid test reports submitted to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General in India should be issued by labs authorised by ICMR, which should be machine-printed, not hand-written, and with a QR code, the statement also added.
Similar procedures have been simplified in other countries such as Singapore, Serbia, the US, Australia, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Cambodia among others.
China had last week reduced the number of quarantine days for inbound travellers from 10 to 8 days and scrapped the penalty for international airlines brining in virus cases into the country.
The new measures were taken after President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of the Communist Party of China's top decision making body, the politburo standing committee during which it was vowed to tenaciously pursue the dynamic zero-COVID-19 policy while also minimising economic and social disruptions.