New regulations for passengers traveling to China

All passengers bound for China will henceforth be required to undergo additional coronavirus tests before travel. Specifically, the Kenyan or Chinese nationals who are to fly to China must take anti-body tests besides the usual nucleic acid tests.

Those who fail to obtain certificates to this effect will be barred from flying to China.

The new measures according to the Chinese embassy in Nairobi have been instituted “’in order to reduce cross-border transmission of Covid-19.’’

The new regulations came into effect yesterday, Saturday 7th November 2020.

Those who will test negative after the two tests must then apply to be issued with a Health Declaration Code before being given a green light to fly.

“They must apply at the Chinese Embassy for a green health code with the “HS” mark or a green health declaration code with the “HDC” mark with certificates of negative results of both tests and itinerary of air travel.” Read the notice

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The embassy says this code is so important given that passengers will be required to present it within its validity period to the airlines flying directly to China before boarding.

This also comes with a huge degree of strictness given that these tests must be conducted at a designated or recognized medical institution.

Selected testing centers

Following consultations between Kenya’s Ministry of Health and the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi, it was agreed that only nucleic acid test reports issued by selected institutions, namely; Nairobi Hospital Anderson Center, Aga Khan University Hospital, Lancet Main Laboratories, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya Medical Research Institute, and Meditest Diagnostic Services LTD will be accepted.

On the other hand, IgM antibody tests must be taken at a legitimate and qualified medical institution regulated by the Kenyan Ministry of Health.

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In the new rules, passengers going to China via connecting flights must take nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests in Kenya within 48 hours before boarding their flight to the transit country and then take both tests again in the transit country within 48 hours before boarding the plane to China.

“Passengers must apply at the Chinese Embassies/Consulates in BOTH counties for green health codes with the “HS” mark or a green health declaration code with the “HDC” mark with certificates of negative results of both tests and itinerary of air travel.” The embassy notes.

Traveling Chinese nationals are also required to upload copies of their negative nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests results to popular social media app WeChat, whereafter, they will be examined and verified by the Chinese Embassy.

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“Failure to obtain the green health codes with the “HS” mark or the Green Health Declaration Code with the “HDC” Mark with both negative nucleic acid and IgM antibody test results means you are not qualified for boarding the flight to China and will have to change your itinerary.” The embassy warns

Those traveling via connecting flights have been asked to confirm the transit country’s entry regulations for the said tests beforehand to avoid being stranded and heightened infection risks.

The new regulations come at a time the world is experiencing a second wave of covid-19 as thousands of people, including in Kenya, get infected with the virus. The number of confirmed positive cases in the country now stands at 61,769 while the number of those who have succumbed to the virus hit 1,103.


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