Here the Covid rules are changing for visitors from China

Travelers will check in at Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong International Airport on December 20, 2022.

Vernon Yuen | Nurphoto | Getty Images

BEIJING — Some countries announced new Covid testing requirements for visitors from China after the mainland said it would finally relax border controls.

Japan was the first country to subsequently publish rule changes, followed by the US and others. Covid-19 infections rose sharply in mainland China this month, but there is limited publicly available data.

Here are some of the latest policy changes for travelers from China:



From Jan. December, all passengers aged 2 and older departing from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau must have a negative Covid-19 test result within the past two days upon departure for the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The rules apply to people of all nationalities and vaccination statuses.

The range of outcomes of China's Covid outbreak is 'wide open'

Testing has declined across China and it’s unclear which variants are circulating on the mainland because genomic surveillance data is also limited, a federal health official told reporters.


For the month of January, all travelers from mainland China via direct flight or boat must be tested for Covid-19 upon arrival in Taiwan, local disease control centers said on Wednesday.

Those who have tested positive can go into quarantine at home, the statement said.

The rules do not apply to flights departing from Hong Kong or Macau.


All travelers coming to Italy from China must be tested for Covid-19, even if they are just passing through, the European country’s health minister said on Wednesday.

The minister said the country would also conduct virus sequencing but did not say what would happen to travelers who tested positive.

Health officials in regions near Milan and Rome said travelers who tested positive would have to quarantine in designated buildings, Reuters reported.


Australia is not adding restrictions to visitors from China, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Thursday, according to an official transcript of his interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Albanese said Australia will monitor circumstances in China and other countries and seek “appropriate advice” from health experts. “Our priority is to keep Australians as safe as possible,” he said.

Read more about China from CNBC Pro

Omicron – more easily transmissible but causing less severe disease – has become the dominant variant of Covid worldwide in the last year. Most of the world moved into a state of living with the virus months before China ended many of its Covid controls this month.

From Jan. December, travelers entering mainland China will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival, Beijing announced Monday. Visitors would still need to show a negative for Covid-19 within the last 48 hours.

Chinese authorities also said they would improve visa processing for foreigners while consolidating Chinese citizens’ passport applications for travel abroad, including tourism. No exact period was given.

– CNBC’s Jihye Lee and Spencer Kimball contributed to this report.

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