UK Scrap PCR Tests for China Arrivals – Here's the Updated List

By Alistair Baker-Brian, March 21, 2023

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The United Kingdom has become the latest country to scrap rules requiring arrivals from the Chinese mainland to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. 

The requirement of a pre-departure test for arrivals in England will end on April 5, reports Reuters.

Following China’s lifting of the ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ policy, a number of countries and regions imposed new COVID-19 measures for those arriving from the Chinese mainland as cases began to rise. 

The UK is the latest on a growing list of countries and regions which have now scrapped said measures, making outbound travel from China easier. 

Below are a few countries which have scrapped or reduced COVID-19 testing requirements (Morocco being the exception). 

United Kingdom

The requirement of a pre-departure test for arrivals in England will end on April 5.

United States

Testing requirements were scrapped on Friday, March 10, 2023. However, non-US citizens and non-US immigrants traveling to the United States MUST show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, according to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

Canada

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, testing requirements for arrivals from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao were scrapped on March 17, 2023. 

European Union  

EU member states and other Schengen Area Countries agreed in February, 2023 to phase out testing requirements for travelers from China, including France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. 

Switzerland

COVID-19 tests are no longer required for those entering Switzerland from China. 

Australia 

According to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, arrivals in the country from China are no longer required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Japan

COVID-19 tests on arrival for those coming from China were scrapped on March 1, 2023. However, travelers must still show proof of a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours before departure.  

South Korea

COVID-19 testing requirements for arrivals from China have been scrapped

Morocco 

Anyone who has travel history to China from within seven days is banned from entering Morocco, regardless of nationality, according to information on the country’s national aviation agency website. 

Elsewhere in Greater China (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) 

The Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions have scrapped testing requirements for those arriving from the Chinese mainland. 

According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, those arriving in the region from the Chinese mainland no longer need to undergo pre-departure or post-arrival testing for COVID-19.

However, arrivals still need to undergo a 7-day period of “self-initiated prevention"; rapid antigen tests are to be taken within that time, but only if arrivals show COVID-19 symptoms. 

Entering the Chinese Mainland 

A number of Chinese embassies announced that as of March 1, 2023, a 48-hour negative PCR test would no longer be required for those traveling to the Chinese mainland. 

The PCR test can be replaced with a rapid antigen test (RAT), which not only allows for self-testing, but won't even be checked by the airline at the point of departure.

Please do note, however, that anyone traveling to the mainland still needs to fill out China's Customs Declaration, which requires a negative RAT 48 hours before arriving.

READ MORE: 6 Countries Scrap PCR Test for China Returnees


[Cover image via Pixabay]

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