Q&As Concerning Airline Boarding Requirements for Certificates of Negative Nucleic Acid and Anti-Body Blood Tests Results
2020/11/05

 As per the Notice on Airline Boarding Requirements for Certificates of Negative Nucleic Acid and Anti-Body Blood Tests Results issued on October 29, starting from 0:00 on November 6, 2020 Pacific Time, all Chinese and foreign passengers bound for China will be required to take nucleic acid test and Serology IgM anti-body test and apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified Health Declaration Form (HDF) before boarding. It is recommended that passengers read the full text of the Notice carefully to obtain accurate information and avoid misreading or over-interpreting the test requirements. Please use information from non-official sources with caution and make responsible decisions. The following Q&As are for your reference:

1. Do I need to read this Q&A if I am a Chinese citizen?

·If you are a Chinese citizen, you can only read the Chinese version of Q&As.

2. Can I go to China now?

·Given the current situation of COVID-19, passengers are advised to reconsider their travel plans and avoid nonessential international travel at this time. If you are traveling to China for an essential purpose, a direct flight is highly recommended to minimize the risks of infection.

3. Do I still need a visa?

·These measures are separate from visa requirements. You will still need a visa to go to China.

·The Announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Immigration Administration on the Temporary Suspension of Entry by Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Visas or Residence Permits issued on March 26 is still valid. Foreign citizens travelling to China should hold valid visas issued after the Announcement was published. The Health Declaration Form is only for inspection before boarding.

·Foreigners with valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and reunion have been allowed to enter China since September 28, 2020, without the need to apply for new visas.

4. As a non-Chinese passenger, what do I need to do before boarding?

·Take the required tests and submit the negative test certificates to the Chinese Embassy/Consulates. If the certificates are eligible, you will receive a certified Health Declaration Form or a Health Declaration Code (when the system is upgraded). When boarding the flight, the test certificates and the HDF/HDC need to be presented to the airlines.

·Airline companies are informed of the above-mentioned requirements and procedures. However, you are highly recommended to inquire of your airlines about their specific arrangements before boarding.

5. Are there any designated labs/institutions for the tests?

·At present, the Chinese Embassy/Consulates have not designated any lab or institutions for the tests. Test result certificates issued by eligible medical or test institutions are currently accepted.

6. What are the requirements for the tests?

·The nucleic acid test and the IgM anti-body test can be taken separately at different facilities, but should be done in the same consular district.

·Nucleic Acid Test: Only the negative certificate of COVID-19 Nucleic Acid PCR Test is accepted. PCR is commonly described in the United States as follows: PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), RT-PCR or qRT-PCR (Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), etc.

·Antibody test: Only the negative certificate of the Serology IgM anti-body test is accepted, which means that "IgM" needs to be explicitly marked in the report.

·The test report must be an official certificate of the test institution and include the following essential information:

    ·patient name

    ·date of birth

    ·test type

    ·date of sample collection

    ·test result

    ·name of test institution

    ·contact information of test institution

Date of sample collection must be stated in the certificate. If it is not, please request your test institution to put it in. Certificates without specified collection dates will be deemed invalid.

·The test certificates can be in print or in digital form. If the essential information, such as patient name, date of birth, date of sample collection and test result, is handwritten on the certificates, they will be deemed invalid.

·Passengers are recommended to take a hard copy of the test certificates with them in case of airline inspection or other usages.

·Take the tests and submit the certificates honestly. Any falsification or alteration of the test certificates may cause the application or boarding to be rejected and even bring about legal liabilities on the part of the applicants.

7. Is rapid test certificate acceptable?

· The validity of the test certificates is not based on the speed of test.

· Nucleic acid test and Serology IgM anti-body test are usually conducted in a lab. Those which promise same-day results may not be the required tests. Please inquire of your test institution about the test type.

8. Is the test based on a "self-collected sample" acceptable?

·"Self-collected sample" is mainly used for self-health monitoring, which may not be up to the standard of a sample needed for a test. Certificates issued based on "self-collected samples" are not accepted.

9. When is the best time to do the tests?

·For example, if your collection date is November 17, the approved HDF/HDC will be valid through November 19. You can use it to board a U.S. departure flight before 23:59 of November 19 local time.

·If you are flying to China via connecting flights, you will need to take the tests a second time when transiting, and apply for the HDF/HDC from the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the transit country if it is required.

 ·It will take some time for the Embassy/Consulates to process the application. Please schedule your tests in advance and apply for the HDF/HDC as soon as the negative test results are received.

10. Do children need to be tested?

·A child under 3 years old does not need to take the tests or apply for the certify HDF/HDC if he or she is to fly to China on a direct flight and his or her accompanying parent(s) meet(s) the requirement of boarding.

·If the child flies to China via a transit country or region, please apply for the HDF/HDC according to the requirements in the transit country or region.

11. How long does it take for the Chinese Embassy/Consulates to certify the HDF?

· The Chinese Embassy/Consulates are processing the HDF/HDC applications seven days a week. However, you are advised to apply at least one day before the departure date. Approval for expedited application is not guaranteed.

12. If my flight is delayed to the second day, is my HDF/HDC still valid?

· In this case, if your HDF/HDC is valid through the scheduled flight time, the airline will allow you to board.

13. Do I need to bring a printout of the test certificates?

· Yes, you are advised to bring a hard copy of the original test certificates to the airport in case of further inspection.

14. Do I need to be quarantined when I arrive in China if I have the required test certificates, or the certified HDF/HDC?

·The test certificates and HDF/HDC are only for boarding. For quarantine requirements, please check the information on the websites of the government of the entry city or province of China.

15. Policy coherence with other countries

·Passengers departing from the United States and transiting in a third country will be checked for their HDFs/HDCs twice. The first time is before boarding in the U.S., and the second time is when transiting. The HDFs/HDCs used for the two checks should be separately applied for from the Chinese Embassies/Consulates in the United States and in the transit country. The HDF/HDC issued by the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the United States CANNOT be used in the transit country. Please refer to the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the transit country for specific requirements in that country.

·Passengers who transit in the United States and then fly directly to China should first comply with the requirements of the country of departure. When transiting in the U.S., the airline will check the HDF/HDC issued by the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the United States. If boarding requirements are not met, there will be a high risk of getting stranded or even being sent back to the departure point.

·Passengers bound for China are not recommended to transit in the United States. Currently, rapid tests are not available in most American airports. There are entry restrictions for non-American citizens from many countries. After entry, test facilities are scattered with varied abilities to deliver results. In the meanwhile, the pandemic is still not contained in the U.S., resulting in a high risk of infection.

·The Chinese Embassy/Consulates cannot assist in boarding. Please use caution when deciding the flight route to China, and know in advance the entry regulations and test requirements in the transit country. If test certificates and HDF/HDC cannot be presented when transiting, there will be a risk of getting stranded.

16. Can I get the approved HDF/HDC if I make the application as required?

·Not necessarily. In order to ensure the health and safety of international travel and reduce the risk of cross-border transmission of COVID-19, the Embassy/Consulates will decide based on a comprehensive review of the test date, test type, test results, accuracy record of the test institution, and consistency of personal information on the test certificates. Please plan your trip accordingly.

17. After getting the HDF/HD, what else should I be aware of?

·Please minimize visits to public spaces/facilities before boarding, and take personal protection to avoid infection.

·Some airlines have specific requirements on COVID-19. Please inquire in advance.

·Transit passengers are recommended to consult the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the transit country about the latest policies on nucleic acid and Serology IgM anti-body tests and entry requirements to avoid getting stranded.

 

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