China Reopening Guide for Business Aviation

PT 12 M minute read
466
Share:

After more than 1,000 days of isolation, China was reversing course on its zero-COVID policy, reopening its border, abandoning quarantines, and going back to pre-pandemic entry approval processes for foreign travelers, starting Jan. 8, 2023.

While this is great news for Chinese travelers and those eager to visit the country, the abrupt change has helped fuel a COVID surge throughout the country, with reports of major cities having infection rates as high as 80 percent currently!

As a result, many countries including the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Spain, Japan, Italy, South Korea, and more have announced new testing requirements for travelers (including returning citizens) entering the country from China.

Here’s everything business aviation operators need to know about China’s reopening and how its current COVID surge is impacting international travel.


China to Drop COVID Entry Requirements Jan. 8, 2023 – Pre-Arrival Testing Still Required

Effective Jan. 8, 2023, international travelers to China will no longer be required to have quarantine and a PCR test upon arrival. Before arriving, travelers must complete a PCR test (and report a negative result within 48 hours before takeoff) and complete the Customs Declaration form. Passengers will no longer need to submit their results to a Chinese embassy or consulate and apply for a code.


No Special Government Permissions Required to Bring Passengers into China

The most significant difference in the dropped requirements is that State Council approval will no longer be required if an operator wants to bring passengers into China.

Throughout the pandemic, very few companies had ever able to obtain such approval, as the procedure was complicated and it was never really transparent to applicants. These few companies who were able to obtain the approval had to apply 3-4 weeks in advance.


Operators Now Need Just 2-3 Days’ Lead Time for Missions to China

After January 8th, operators only need 2-3 days lead time for preparing their missions to China if they do not fly to non-civil airports. Landing permits can be obtained in 1-2 days at most airports, although it may take up to three days to secure parking and adequate staffing for busier airports


Beijing International Airport ZBAA Now Open

 Beijing International (ZBAA), which has been completely closed to international arrivals for almost three years, is now open, and permits can be arranged in as little as 2-3 business days lead time – although allowing more time is certainly recommended.


Visas

We have not yet heard anything from the Embassy, but we are very confident that it will be allowing longer stays or validation if they apply for a China visa after January 8th.


China Limiting Foreign Aircraft to Six Domestic Legs

While China is dropping its most stringent COVID restrictions, it is reinstating its rule that foreign aircraft are only permitted to  operate six domestic legs in China. In reality, this rule rarely impacts most North American or European-based operators but could affect Asia-based operators with Chinese owners who fly heavily domestically within the country.


Life on the Ground in China – Restaurants, Shops, Transportation

Our Universal Aviation China team on the ground is reporting that restaurants, shops, and access to services, are allowed to operate as normal. However, many businesses are still closed due to the current COVID outbreak in the country. It is anticipated that once this current surge subsides in the next week or so, that business will be completely back to normal.

The mood on the ground is one of excitement, as business owners cannot wait to receive guests for the first time in three years.

When out and about you will still need to wear masks and take temperature measurements in the city and public places. But people no longer need to scan health codes and other codes, no longer need to take PCR tests, and no mandatory vaccine requirements.

Basically, there are no other restrictions except masks.


What Happens if You Test Positive While in China?

If one finds that they are COVID-19 positive after coming to China, they can go to the hospital for the latest COVID-19 test. A test in a public hospital costs about $5 US.. dollars, and the results are released in about six hours. (There are still a few free PCR test booths, but there are fewer than before.)

It is not mandatory to report COVID status, but strongly recommended that positive individuals self-isolate in their hotel room until they turn negative. (Neither the government nor hotel will require them to report COVID status.)


China’s Current COVID Surge

Because of China’s Zero-COVID policy and internal domestic restrictions, the country previously had a very low rate of infection and many citizens with no exposure. Reopening abruptly has led to a current infection rate as high as 80 percent in many large cities.


Countries Imposing Testing Requirements for Travelers from China Due to Current Surge

As a result of the current surge throughout China, several countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia, India, Italy, and South Korea have imposed new testing requirements for travelers who have been in China/Hong Kong/Macau prior to arrival.

This has drawn condemnation from Chinese officials. While some countries, such as France, are pushing all EU nations to implement testing requirements for travelers who have been in China, some, like Germany, have declared the additional measures unnecessary.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the major countries new requirements. This list is fluid and growing quickly, so always check with your Universal Trip Support Team for the latest.


United States

Effective 0001 ET, January 5, 2023, all air passengers two years and older originating from the PRC, Hong Kong or Macau will be required to get a test (such as a PCR test or an antigen self-test administered and monitored by a telehealth service or a licensed provider and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or the relevant national authority) no more than two (2) days before their departure from the PRC, Hong Kong, or Macau, and show a negative test result to the airline upon departure.

  • The requirement applies to these air passengers regardless of nationality and vaccination status.
  • This will also apply to persons traveling from the PRC via third country transit and to passengers connecting through the United States onward to further destinations.
  • Along with applying this requirement to direct flights from the PRC, passengers transiting Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport on their way to the United States will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test if they have been in the PRC in the last 10 days no more than 2 days before their departure to the United States. These three transit hubs cover the overwhelming majority of passengers with travel originating in the PRC and the Special Administrative Regions. We will continue to monitor travel patterns, adjust our approach as needed, and keep Americans informed in a timely manner.
  • Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before the flight can provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in lieu of a negative test result.
  • Airlines must confirm the negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before they board or deny boarding to the passenger.

Here are the full CDC requirements.


United Kingdom

From 5 January 2023, there are different rules if you travel to England from mainland China.

You will need to take a COVID-19 test no more than 2 days before you travel.

Children aged 11 and under do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travelling to England from mainland China.

This applies to all direct and indirect flights originating from mainland China. An indirect flight involves stops in one or more other countries or territories before arriving in England. This includes if you are travelling through Hong Kong or Macao.

It applies if England is your final destination, or if you will be transiting through England.

You must provide the original test result notification. This will be checked by your airline. Your test result must be in either English, French or Spanish.

Your test result can be provided as:

  • a printed document
  • an email or text message you can show on your phone – make sure your device is charged

It must include the following information:

  • your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
  • your date of birth or age
  • the result of the test
  • the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • the name of the test provider and their contact details
  • confirmation of the type of test taken, this can be a lateral flow or PCR

Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Italy

All passengers travelling from China – even if transiting through another country – and from Hong Kong with a direct flight to Italy, must have a valid negative COVID test, molecular test performed within 72 hours before departure or rapid antigenic test performed within 48 hours before departure.

Upon arrival in Italy, all passengers must perform a rapid swab test at the airport and in case of proven positivity a second molecular test must be immediately performed.

If a Test facility is not present at the Italian airport of destination, a swab must be performed within 48 hours of entering the Country in a specific Official test center.

If positivity is confirmed quarantine is mandatory with compulsory negative test at the end, according Health Ministry provision in effect.

The above provision does not apply for children under six, for crew members, for military personnel and for diplomatic passengers.


Japan

Effective from January 12th, 2023.

Entry Airport

Passenger flights arriving from China and Macau >>> RJAA, RJGG and RJBB (Ferry flight and Tech stop for fuel/crew swap are allowed to operate into RJTT)

Pre-departure Test

Regardless of nationality and vaccination status, all passengers entering Japan via a direct flight from China and Macau are required to present a certificate of Pre-departure test upon arrival.

Note: Passengers entering Japan via a non-direct flight from China and Macau will not be required to present the certificate if they have valid vaccination certificates regardless of nationality.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000799426.pdf (Sample Format)

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000825144.pdf (Requirements for the certificate)

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000905811.pdf (Q&A including the requirements for children)

On-arrival Test

Regardless of nationality, age and vaccination status, the following passengers are required to take a Quantitative Antigen Test upon arrival and should wait approximately 1 hour for the test results. If tested positive, they are required to stay in a designated quarantine hotel for 5-7days.

  • Passengers entering Japan via a direct flight from China and Macau
  • Passengers who have stayed in China within 7 days of arrival and entering Japan via a non-direct flight from China and Macau

 

Quarantine Procedure

  1. Passengers entering Japan via a direct flight from China and Macau
Visit Japan WebVaccination CertificatePre-departure TestOn-arrival TestIsolation
RequiredWithRequiredRequiredRequired if tested positive
Without

 

  1. Passengers who have stayed in China within 7 days of arrival and entering Japan via a non-direct flight from China
Visit Japan WebVaccination CertificatePre-departure TestOn-arrival TestIsolation
RequiredWithNot RequiredRequiredRequired if tested positive
WithoutRequired

 

  1. Other Passengers
Visit Japan WebVaccination CertificatePre-departure TestOn-arrival TestIsolation
RequiredWithNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
WithoutRequired

 

Visit Japan Web

Please click the following link and enter the required information.

https://vjw-lp.digital.go.jp/en/

 

Vaccination Certificate

You may refer to the following link for the requirements.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000997373.pdf

 

Note: For Children under 18 yrs old without holding a valid vaccination certificate, if they are accomanied by parents/guardians with a valid vaccination certificate, they will be treated as holders of valid vaccination certificates.

If children under 18 yrs old without holding a valid vaccination certificate and entering Japan alone, they are not eligible for the above exemption.

 

Flight Crew

  1. Quarantine Procedure: Regardless of travel history, all crew members entering Japan are required to hold either a vaccination certificate or a Pre-departure test result. No On-arrival test required for crew members.
Visit Japan WebVaccination CertificatePre-departure TestOn-arrival TestIsolation
Not RequiredWithNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
WithoutRequired

 

  1. Shore Pass: Handling agent may arrange a SHORE PASS instead of a visa for crew members upon arrival. Passport holders of 68 country, they may enter Japan without a visa/shore pass.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html (List of 68 country)


South Korea

Passengers from Mainland China (except Hong Kong and Macau) are required to provide:

  1. Pre departure PCR or RAT certificate
  2. Q-code
  3. Arrival PCR test upon arrival

Canada

As of 12:01 a.m. EST on January 5, all air travellers who are two years of age and older, arriving on flights originating from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao, will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than two days before their departure, to the airline prior to boarding. The test could be either a negative molecular (such as a PCR test), or a negative antigen test that has documentation to show that it has been monitored by a telehealth service or an accredited laboratory or testing provider. Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before their departure flight, but no more than 90 days, can provide the airline with documentation of their prior positive, in place of a negative test result.

These planned health measures will apply to air travellers, regardless of nationality and vaccination status. They are temporary measures, in place for 30 days, that will be reassessed as more data and evidence becomes available. Airlines must receive the negative COVID-19 test result, or documentation of a positive test result taken within the prior 10-90 days, before the traveller boards the plane, otherwise the traveller will be denied boarding.

More details here.


Australia

From 12:01am (AEDT) on Thursday 5 January 2023, travellers arriving in Australia from China will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test within the 48 hours prior to travel and show evidence of a negative test result. This applies regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status and includes Australian citizens.

More details here.

Detailed operational details are also available in our Feasibility-IQ Mission Planning Intelligence app.


France

After discussing with its European partners, the French Government has decided to strengthen border health measures for passengers arriving from China. These measures are provided for by Decree No. 2022-1771 of December 30, 2022. They apply to all passengers regardless of their nationality.

1/ Since December 31, 2022, anyone aged six or over must wear a mask on board planes bound for French territory from China.

2/ From January 5, 2023 (application to planes leaving China on January 4, 2023), and until January 31, 2023, passengers aged eleven and over must present a negative PCR test result upon boarding. or antigen less than 48 hours old.

This result must be presented in the form of a certificate in French or English, in paper or electronic format, attesting to the date and the result of the test. Self-tests are not accepted.

3/ From January 5, 2023 (application to planes leaving China on January 4, 2023), all passengers must present to the airline on which they are traveling to France, before boarding, in addition to the negative result of the test, a declaration on honor attesting:

– That he does not show any symptoms of covid-19 infection;

– That he is not aware of having been in contact with a confirmed case of covid-19 in the fourteen days preceding the flight;

– If he is eleven years old or more, he accepts that a test can be carried out on his arrival on the national territory. Random tests are carried out on this basis on arrival in France.

– That he undertakes to remain contactable for at most 15 days after his arrival in France and, if the result of the test carried out on arrival in the national territory concludes to contamination by covid-19, to respect voluntary isolation seven days after his arrival in mainland France, and, if he is aged eleven or over, to carry out a new test at the end of this seven-day period.


India

Test on arrival and departure required. 14 day travel history reviewed.


Malaysia

Test on arrival and Rapid Antigen Test on departure required. 14 day travel history reviewed.


Spain

Test or proof of vaccination required on departure.


Taiwan

PCR test on arrival and 7-day quarantine required if positive.


Morocco

Authorities in Morocco are banning all travelers arriving from China from Jan. 3 due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The ban includes all individuals, regardless of nationality.


Qatar

Effective Jan. 3 entrants from China, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to present a negative PCR test result taken no more than two days before the departure. Individuals who contract COVID-19 are subject to a 10-day isolation period divided into two five-day phases. The first phase consists of self-isolation.


Chile

As of Jan. 3, authorities are requiring all passengers arriving from China to present a negative result from a PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours before their flight to Chile. The measure also applies to any travelers who have been to China in the seven days prior to their arrival in Chile. Travelers will also be subject to testing upon arrival at the airport. Those who test positive must quarantine for five days. Vaccinated passengers who have not been to China in the seven days prior to arrival must show a vaccination record issued in the country in which the immunization was received. Visitors may also be selected at random for additional COVID-19 testing on entry, with persons testing positive being required to undergo quarantine. Unvaccinated travelers must submit a negative PCR test 48 hours before arrival. There are no entry requirements for visitors under 18 years old.


Ghana

Authorities in Ghana will toughen entry restrictions from Jan. 6, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in China and other countries. All air travelers arriving from China will be required to present a negative PCR test result not older than 48 hours before departure and undergo another test on arrival in Ghana at no cost. Random testing upon arrival for all international travelers


Guadeloupe

They need to have a PCR result negativ for a test done 48h before departure and a new PCR test could be requested on arrival. The passenger and crew must also be fully vaccinated with 2 booster.

 


Israel

As of Jan. 5, non-Israeli travelers arriving from China must have a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure for Israel.


Austria

Travelers will have to present a negative PCR test taken prior to departure; further details have not yet been confirmed.


Belgium

Travelers will have to present a negative PCR test taken prior to departure; further details have not yet been confirmed.


Germany

Travelers will have to present a negative PCR test taken prior to departure; further details have not yet been confirmed.


Greece

Travelers will have to present a negative PCR test taken prior to departure; further details have not yet been confirmed.


Netherlands

Travelers arriving from China will need to show a negative COVID-19 test to enter the Netherlands; further details have not yet been confirmed.

Portugal

Travelers from China will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test done no more than two days before departure.


Sweden

(Non-EU citizens or residents must present a negative COVID-19 test taken in the previous 48 hours before boarding).


Hong Kong

Travelers aged three and above entering from mainland China to Hong Kong and vice versa will be required to present a negative nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to departure.


Costa Rica

Effective Jan. 9, for foreign nationals arriving from or who have traveled to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in the past 14 days required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR-RT or Antigen test obtained at least 72 hours before entering the country. – All persons over the age of 12 will also require a full vaccination certificate. – Costa Ricans arriving from the areas mentioned above are advised to self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival.


Most Current Information Available Via Feasibility-IQ

For the latest information on all countries requiring additional testing for passengers from China, please refer to our Feasibility-IQ Mission Planning Intelligence app.


Got a question for Yini about this article?

Share: