Relaxed measures for inbound China travellers

Relaxed measures for inbound China travellers

Following recent developments in the global covid-19 pandemic situation and based on the specific characteristics of the omicron variant, Chinese embassies and consulates have adjusted requirements for pre-travel testing and Health Declaration Code applications.

The measures, which took effect from late May, greatly relax requirements and procedures for HDC-Code applications of inbound China travellers, though the specific changes and their effective date vary slightly by country and region. The measures unify testing requirements for travellers from the same departure location regardless of their vaccination status, i.e., whether the person is vaccinated, partially vaccinated or not vaccinated, and regardless of the type of vaccine. Here are the basic testing requirements for HDC-Code applications and the main changes to previous measures.


  • First nucleic acid test within 48 hours before boarding
  • Second nucleic acid test within 24 hours before boarding
  • Antigen test within 12 hours before boarding (applicable only in some locations)


  • The requirement for a nucleic acid test seven days before boarding is cancelled
  • The requirement of an IgM antibody test for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people is cancelled
  • Mandatory self-health monitoring requirements are either cancelled or the length of the monitoring period is shortened (depending on location)
  • Imaging diagnosis of lung CT or X-ray is no longer required for those who have a history of infection (applicable only in some locations).

Compared with the policies of the past two years, the latest changes may facilitate inbound travel to mainland China. However, travellers who have a history of infection, are close contacts of a person with covid-19 or have symptoms of covid-19 will have to go through additional hurdles.

Unnecessary cross-border travel is still discouraged. To effectively manage the risk of covid-19 infection at exit and entry, visa applications for inbound foreigners and the issuing of passports and endorsement for outbound PRC nationals are still restricted. Post-arrival quarantine measures are still strictly implemented without exemptions.

Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by e-mailing Howard Wu (Shanghai) at