China has eased some COVID-19 testing requirements for people flying in from Canada, the United States and other countries, while shortening the pre-departure quarantine for some inbound passengers.
The Chinese embassy in Canada said in a statement that from Saturday, passengers would no longer be required to have a negative RT-PCR test for seven days prior to flight.
Passengers flying out of Canada will still have to take the first test within 48 hours of boarding, and a second test 24 hours before their flight. The tests must be done in a medical center accredited by China.
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In addition, those passengers must undergo an antigen test within 12 hours prior to boarding, which can be administered by any hospital, clinic or pharmacy approved by Canada.
However, according to the consular notice, China is waiving the antibody test requirement for travelers arriving from Canada and the United States.
Starting Friday, passengers from Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago will be subject to the same testing rules for Canadian departures.
According to the notice from the Chinese embassies, slight relaxation was given in response to factors including “characteristics of the coronavirus variant”.
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Travel in and out of China has fallen during the COVID outbreak as the country insists on its “dynamic COVID zero” playbook that includes restrictions on passport issue and renewal, mandatory quarantine for most passengers on arrival and flight cancellations.
But the short incubation period of the Omicron variant has led to a slight easing of restrictions on international travelers. The capital Beijing has reduced the quarantine period in centralized facilities from 14 days to 10 days upon arrival of travelers.
In an effort to stop the spread of the virus altogether, the edition has imposed several lockdowns in major Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Beijing.
Embassies in the United Arab Emirates, Serbia and Bangladesh said on Wednesday that they have removed some testing requirements and reduced the pre-departure quarantine period for employees of Chinese companies from 21 days to 10 days.
According to the embassy notice, Bangladesh has reduced the pre-flight quarantine for other passengers from seven days to five days, while Serbia has halved the pre-departure quarantine time for some personnel.
-With files from Reuters
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