Notice on the Requirement Adjustment of the Nucleic Acid rt-PCR and IgM Serum Antibody Tests
2020/12/19 23:00

There has recently been a sharp increase of imported COVID-19 cases from the United States in China. Most of them can be traced to infection in transit, while a few are related to faulty operations of intermediary agencies and laboratories or to passengers' nonobservance of home quarantine requirements after testing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counted a total of nearly 17 million confirmed cases in the United States by December 18, and another 1.2 million to 2.3 million new cases are expected to be reported every week in early January 2021. To protect the health and safety of passengers and aircrew, and prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 in China, the Chinese embassy and consulates in the United States once again recommend travelers avoid all nonessential and non-urgent travels. Passengers who have urgent need of travel please follow the test guidelines and requirements listed below:

I. Starting from 0:00 on December 23, 2020 Pacific Time, IgM serum antibody test must be performed by medical professionals through venous blood sampling, and the test report should include the following terms: Serum, IgM, Venous, etc. Finger-prick blood testing is no longer accepted. The report also needs to clearly state testing methods, including: (1) Colloidal gold; (2) Chemiluminescence; (3) Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; (4) Others, please specify.

II. Starting from 0:00 on December 23, 2020 Pacific Time, nucleic acid rt-PCR test report should include such terms as NAAT, RT-PCR, and specify sampling method, including: (1) Pharyngeal swab; (2) Nasopharyngeal swab; (3). Others, please specify.

III. In order to prevent infection from long-distance travel after testing, passengers traveling to China must get their samples for the nucleic acid rt-PCR and IgM serum antibody tests collected at the departure city and vicinity of their direct flight to China. The specific arrangements are as follows.

1. At present, direct flights from the United States to China fly from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Detroit and Dallas.  

2. Passengers must allow for the time to take pharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swabs, venous blood and other sampling in the departure city and vicinity of their flight and wait in place for the test results before the flight. Upon receiving the reports, passengers should upload them immediately to apply for the health code for boarding.

3. Collected samples must be tested at a laboratory institution that is on the list released by the Chinese embassy and consulates. Please have prior confirmation with your sample collecting institution whether the samples are tested in such a laboratory. The list of laboratories will be announced soon and it will be adjusted from time to time. Please pay close attention to the notices and reminders on the websites of the Chinese embassy and consulates.

4. When applying for the health code, flight itinerary and proof of sampling at flight departure city and vicinity (such as clinic report, letter of proof, sampling-site photos or receipts, etc.) should be uploaded alongside with test reports and other materials. If the system does not have a special upload window for flight itinerary and proof of sampling city, please upload them in the window for submitting test reports.

5. Starting from 0:00 on December 23, 2020 Pacific Time, the Chinese embassy and consulates in the United States will only accept test results from the laboratories on the list, and they will be reviewed in conjunction with flight itinerary, sampling city, etc.

6. The airlines are only required to check the health code for international flights to China, but if your flight contains a domestic leg, there is a possibility that some airlines have additional requirements or their staff have different understanding as to checking the code. Please check with your airlines in advance or choose not to go to your international departure city via connecting flights.

IV. The Chinese embassy and consulates will verify the authenticity of test results with sample collecting and testing institutions. Passengers are advised to agree to disclosure of relevant information by the institutions to the Chinese embassy and consulates, including test results.

V. Passengers are strongly recommended to take personal protection very seriously to avoid infection in travel to the departure city and during the stay before departure. Please minimize public contact after testing. Some states have put in domestic travel restrictions or stay-at-home order, passengers are advised to inquire about local regulations in advance and comply.

VI. In case of any inconsistency between this Notice and the previous ones, this one shall prevail.


Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America
3505 International Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008 U.S.A.
Tel: +1-202-495-2266
Fax: +1-202-495-2138

Visa Office
Address: 2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Suite 110, Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: +1 202-855-1555 (12:30-16:30, Monday to Friday, except for holidays)
Fax: +1 202-525-2056
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