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Travelers heading to China have one less obstacle to consider before entering the country.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters on Tuesday that a negative PCR test result is no longer necessary to enter the country starting on Saturday, April 29, The Associated Press reported.
She said flyers can now show a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours before boarding a plane.
"To further facilitate cross-border travel, China is taking new steps to refine pre-departure testing requirements guided by the principle of ensuring safe and orderly travel and keeping the measures science-based and well-targeted," Mao said.
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Travelers wearing face masks walk through the international arrivals area at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, on March 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Since the start of the pandemic, China has imposed a variety of strict measures aimed at controlling COVID's impact in the country – including lockdowns and regular mass testing.
The dropped requirement is one of a few axed in recent months as the country works to ease its "zero-COVID" policies and revive its tourism industry. Protests also prompted China to roll back some of the measures in December, leading the country to ultimately drop its quarantine rule in January, the AP reported.
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Mao also announced that airlines will no longer check passengers' test results before departure.
"We remind both inbound and outbound travelers to do self-health management and monitoring well before traveling, strictly comply with China's national and local requirements on epidemic prevention, and ensure a healthy and pleasant trip and a safe return home," Mao said during a daily press briefing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning speaks during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing, Monday, April 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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In March, China took another step toward pre-pandemic travel by resuming the issuance of all types of visas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.