Vaccinated intl arrivals won't be exempt from COVID-19 tests, quarantine: China CDC official
Published: Mar 21, 2021 07:14 PM

Customs officers inspect an inbound flight at the Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Chen Zhonghao)

Customs officers inspect an inbound flight at the Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Chen Zhonghao)

After at least 28 Chinese embassies released measures offering facilitation to visa applicants who have been inoculated with Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, an official from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention ( China CDC) said China so far has no plan to exempt inoculated  travelers arriving from overseas from nucleic acid testing and quarantine measures.

China will continue the current anti-epidemic measures requiring international travelers to undergo health quarantine, centralized quarantine and nucleic acid testing, and will not adopt any measures to exempt people who have been administered vaccines from tests and quarantine, Feng Zijian, deputy director of China CDC said at a press conference on Sunday.

Feng said China will consider different policies on visa issuance, the number of flights and arrivals  based on vaccination levels and the epidemic situations in different countries.

China will also pay close attention to the development of vaccine passports. When the domestic public has generated a high level of immunity protection and a vaccine passport becomes feasible, China will consider adjusting the anti-epidemic measures accordingly, the CDC official said. 

As the current pandemic continues to spread and China's vaccination rate is still relatively low, the entry of people or goods from areas of high COVID-19 prevalence still carries the risk of transmission within our borders. Even those who have already been infected or have been vaccinated from countries with high COVID-19 prevalence will not be able to completely avoid infection, and although the risk of developing disease is greatly reduced, there is still a risk of reinfection, he explained.  

After the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region issued a notice on March 12 exempting foreign visa applicants who have received a Chinese vaccine from providing health certification, the Global Times found there were at least 28 Chinese visa issuing authorities that offered similar facilitation measures.

Chinese embassies in the US, Pakistan, Germany and Japan were among the visa issuing authorities that provided such facilitation policies for foreign visa applicants inoculated with Chinese vaccines, the Global Times found.

According to the new Chinese visa policy, foreign nationals and their family members visiting the Chinese mainland to resume work and production need to provide only the documents required before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic when applying for a visa. 

The scope of applicants eligible for applying for a visa out of emergency humanitarian needs will also be expanded, and holders of valid Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business travel cards will also be offered an easier process when applying for a visa.