Entry Policies and New Regulations of Various Countries in Jan
The world did not start 2022 as smoothly as the New Year's wishes had hoped, and the celebratory fireworks that should have accompanied the New Year were silenced by the sudden arrival of the Omicron mutant strain, which sent the world into turmoil at the start of 2022. On January 3, the United States reported 1 million COVID-19 infections in a single day for the first time, and the positive rate of COVID-19 detection in New York was as high as 33%. On January 4, a record 270,000 new cases were diagnosed in a single day in France, across the Atlantic.
【Policies for China】
The Chinese Embassy in the United States has updated its "strictest ever" pre-trip testing policy on January 4, following the massive meltdown of flights between the United States and China. In broad terms, the policy reads as follows:
Starting December 23, 2020, Chinese and foreign passengers departing from the United States on flights to China should be sampled and tested at the designated facility at the departure point of the flight, submit the test certificate and other documents online to the appropriate embassy or consulate in the United States, apply for a health code, and check in for boarding within the validity period.
The U.S. White House has announced that travel restrictions will be imposed on eight African countries - South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Malawi - beginning November 29, 2021 EST, and that non-U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have spent 14 days in these countries prior to their arrival in the U.S. will be restricted from entering the country.
Effective December 6, 2021, new entry measures will be implemented that require proof of nucleic acid testing within 24 hours prior to boarding for all entrants regardless of citizenship status, and all foreign national travelers (excluding U.S. citizens) must be fully vaccinated with the new vaccine before entering the United States.
【Policies for China】
On 31 December 2021, the Chinese Embassy in the UK issued a supplementary notice on the application of health code for inactivated vaccine recipients. The notice requires that from 6 January 2022, the dual nucleic acid and antibody test for the application of health code for inactivated vaccine recipients departing from the UK to China will be adjusted to a dual nucleic acid test. The key elements are as follows:
For those who depart from the UK after 0:00 hours on 6 January 2022 and have received the inactivated vaccine, the 48-hour pre-trip double test will be changed from PCR nucleic acid and IgM antibody testing to two PCR nucleic acid tests, referred to as "double nucleic acid".
Both nucleic acid tests must be carried out at the designated institution, and the person going to China can choose to be tested separately at two different institutions or to have two samples taken at the same institution, depending on his or her circumstances.
With the implementation of the new rules, those who have received inactivated vaccines in full will be required to submit a dual nucleic acid test report with negative results and proof of vaccination when applying for a health code.
The policy on applying for a health code remains unchanged for those departing from the UK before 0:00 hours on 6 January 2022 and for those departing from the UK after 0:00 hours on 6 January 2022 but who have not been vaccinated or have received inactivated vaccines.
Prime Minister Johnson announced on 27 November 2021 a tightened immigration policy whereby all travellers entering the UK will be required to undergo a nucleic acid test and self-quarantine until a negative test result is reported.
From 12:00 pm local time on 26 December 2021, the UK has placed six African countries on the red list, including South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, while suspending flights from these countries into the UK.
【Policies for China】
The situation of theCOVID-19 in Canada has become more serious recently, and the number of confirmed cases imported from Canada to China continues to increase significantly. According to the official website of the Chinese Embassy in Canada on January 3, in order to strengthen the prevention and control of the epidemic and to ensure the health and safety of travellers to China, according to the relevant domestic regulations, all persons travelling from Canada to China on direct flights on or after January 14, 2022 must add one nucleic acid test on the 7th day before boarding (e.g. for the 14th day flight, one additional nucleic acid test must be added on the 7th day), and after the test, self-close loop management and fill in the 7-day Self-health monitoring form.
Within 2 days prior to boarding, you will be required to undergo a "double test" for nucleic acid and serum antibodies and submit 2 negative nucleic acid tests, a negative serum antibody test and a self-health monitoring form to the relevant Canadian Embassy or Consulate to apply for a Green Health Code. All tests must be carried out at a testing facility designated by the Embassy or Consulate General in Canada.
The Canadian government has announced that effective December 21, 2021, all travellers will be required to undergo another nucleic acid test prior to entering Canada. Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents will also be required to provide proof of a negative nucleic acid test when returning to Canada for short trips outside the country of less than 72 hours.
The way it is currently implemented in Canada is that random tests are done for nucleic acid and those who are selected need to do the accounting at the airport, while those who are not selected receive a test kit from the staff and then video self-test with a health care professional afterwards.
【Policies for China】
Chinese and foreign passengers travelling to China from France, whether flying directly from France or transiting from a third country, must undergo a nucleic acid test for the COVID-19 nucleic acid test and a serum-specific lgM antibody test at a designated institution in France within 2 days prior to registration and apply for a green health code at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in France.
On 29 December 2021, the official website of the Chinese Embassy in France reminded passengers travelling to China to pay close attention to flight changes. In particular, travellers coming to France from third countries should pay close attention to the latest flight situation and check the status of their flights with their airlines in advance.
The French government has divided the world into four zones: green, orange, red and bright red according to the epidemic situation, and China belongs to the orange zone. According to the latest notification issued by the French government, in order to deal with the COVID-19 and its variants, from 4 December 2021, the new rules for entry into France from the orange zone are as follows:
Vaccinated persons are required to provide proof of vaccination, proof of negative nucleic acid test (PCR) or negative antigen test (TAG) within 48 hours and sign an Undertaking to Comply with the entry Policy when boarding the aircraft.
The unvaccinated person must provide proof of a negative nucleic acid test (PCR) or a negative antigen test (TAG) within 48 hours of boarding the aircraft, sign a travel form with the option "Reasons for urgency", an "Undertaking to comply with the entry policy" and quarantine themselves for 7 days after arrival in France, after which they will be tested for nucleic acid.
【Policies for China】
According to the official website of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, from 10 December 2020, Chinese and foreign passengers departing from New Zealand on flights to China must apply for a health code or health status declaration with a negative nucleic acid test for COVID-19 and a negative serum specific IgM antibody test (double negative certificate) within 2 days before boarding. Passengers who do not have a valid health code or declaration of health status will be denied boarding.
For vaccinated persons, the "double test" can only be carried out 14 days after the completion of the vaccination, otherwise the health code will not be validated.
Those vaccinated in China can apply for vaccination certificate through the international version of epidemic prevention health code:
The New Zealand Government announced on 24 November local time that from mid-February 2022, the 3 stages of Intensive quarantine (MIQ) will no longer be required for entry into New Zealand, but all incoming travellers will still be required to self-quarantine for 7 days and arrival is subject to a negative COVID-19 test. From 30 April 2022, New Zealand will be reopened to all fully vaccinated foreigners.
【Policy for China】
On 31 December, the Chinese Embassy in Singapore issued the latest notice! The repatriation process has been relaxed! To briefly summarise, the key points of this adjustment are these (effective from 3 January):
People who have received inactivated vaccines/combined inactivated and non-inactivated vaccines do not need to have a serum IgM test when they return home! Now only 2 nucleic acid tests are required for return, 1 of which needs to be done at Raffles or Parkway;
The observation period for persons with confirmed recovery from a COVID-19 has been reduced from the original 3 months to about 1½ months (6 weeks);
The quarantine closure time before flying has been reduced from the original 14 days to the current 7 days.
With effect from 3 December, air passengers from all countries entering or transiting through Singapore will be required to undergo the COVID-19 Test within 2 days prior to departure and have a negative result.
With effect from 7 December, all travellers, including land-based VTL and all travellers passing through the Vaccinator Passage (VTL), will be required to undergo daily COVID-19 tests for 7 consecutive days upon entry into Singapore. These are 3 nucleic acid tests (PCR) and 4 rapid antigen tests (ART).
In particular, ART testing is carried out on days 2, 4, 5 and 6 after entry and needs to be reported, with negative test results before departure.
【Policies for China】
Starting from December 1, 2020, Chinese and foreign passengers travelling from Korea to China must undergo a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 and a serum specific IgM antibody test within 2 days prior to boarding the plane, and apply for a green health code with the "HS" or "HDC" logo from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in Korea with a double negative certificate. Green Health Code with "HS" or "HDC" logo to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in Korea before boarding the aircraft.
From 0:00 on 1 December, the practice of travelling directly with the original test report will no longer be implemented, but with a green health code issued by the embassy or consulate with the "HS" or "HDC" logo. From 0:00 on December 6,, the practice of taking one nucleic acid test + one antibody test and applying for a health code will be standardised.
In order to prevent the importation of the Omicron strain, the Korean epidemic prevention authorities decided on December 29 to extend the ban on the entry of foreigners with short-term visas from 11 countries and regions, including South Africa, for another four weeks until February 3, 2022, and to increase the number of nucleic acid tests required for Korean citizens and foreigners with long-term visas from three to four before and after entry.
At the same time, from 13 January 2022, the criteria for a negative nucleic acid test to be submitted prior to entry will be further enhanced to shorten the time between the nucleic acid test and entry
【Policies for China】
According to the website of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, the certificate of vaccination for the COVID-19 vaccination in Japan has adopted a new format and will be issued electronically. The Chinese Embassy in Japan reminds passengers who have completed their vaccinations in Japan that if your municipality has adopted the new version of the COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate, you can apply for a health code with the paper or electronic version of the "Certificate of Vaccination for Overseas and Domestic Use". The old paper certificate is still valid and does not need to be reissued.
Other policies on applications to China remain unchanged, please refer to the "Updated Policy Notice on Health Code to China" issued by the Chinese Embassy in Japan on 13 September 2021.
Since the world's first discovery of the Omicron strain in late November 2021, Japan has quickly tightened its soon to be relaxed immigration measures, banning foreign students, business people and others from entering the country for one month.
The number of confirmed cases in Japan reached 1,268 in a single day on January 4, according to data compiled by Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK). The outbreak in Japan has rebounded from a fall in December last year.
At a press conference on the afternoon of January 4, Kishida said that he would adjust the current measures against the Omicron mutant strain to maintain the current entry measures while shifting the focus from strengthening entry controls to strengthening the response to indigenous infections.
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