China says 'double negative test' still necessary to safeguard people's health
Updated 20:23, 17-Dec-2020
By Su Yuting

China said it will continue to protect people's health by working to prevent COVID-19 cases from coming into the country from overseas, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday during a news conference on China's consular work in 2020.

Cui Aimin, the director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry said both Chinese and foreign passengers flying into China are still required to present the negative result of serum IgM antibody, in addition to the usual negative result of the nucleic acid test.

He noted, "double negative tests" have been introduced in more than 160 countries and that Chinese embassies and consulates stationed abroad have reviewed nearly 530,000 test results.

According to Cui, they've prevented 38,000 people who would have likely traveled with the coronavirus.

If travelers need to make cross-border trips, Cui suggested they choose direct flights whenever possible and avoid transfers.

He also said Chinese embassies and consulates had been hard at work to provide maximum convenience to overseas nationals who urgently need to return home.

"Through tracking and analyzing the imported cases, we've found that nearly half of the imported cases were infected when they transited through a place. This shows that people face greater risks of infection through long-distance travel, especially cross-border travel. So we require an additional test in transit, mainly to safeguard the health of people coming into China, but also to minimize the risk of cross-infection during travel." Cui added. 

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