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04 May 2020 | 10:35 AM UTC

China: COVID-19 testing obligatory for China Airlines’ Moscow-Beijing route effective May 8 /update 61

China News Alert

COVID-19 testing required for all passengers on China Airlines’ Moscow-Beijing route effective May 8; contact your airline for more information

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/4/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Shanghai). COUNTRY/REGION China, Beijing

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On Monday, May 4, Chinese authorities announced that all passengers on China Airlines flights from Moscow to Beijing will be required to provide negative nucleic acid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests within 120 hours before boarding, effective Friday, May 8. The move follows Russia's highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases to date, with 10,633 new cases reported on Sunday, May 3.

On Friday, May 1, authorities stated that lockdown measures would be eased in Hubei province from Saturday, May 2. Authorities also reduced the COVID-19 response level from the highest to the second-highest level, and control measures will be adjusted accordingly. The decision came after the detection of no new COVID-19 cases in Hubei province on Thursday, April 30.

Beijing authorities announced the easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures on Thursday, April 30. Restrictions on domestic travelers will be eased, and the requirement for individuals arriving in Beijing from elsewhere in China to undergo a 14-day quarantine will be lifted. Exceptions to the relaxed measures include travelers arriving from high-risk zones such as Heilongjiang province and some parts of Guangdong province.

Authorities also stated on Wednesday, April 29, that parliament will commence its annual session on Friday, May 22, as planned, indicating that the Chinese government is likely to continue easing COVID-19 restrictions.

On Sunday, April 26, Chinese authorities announced a ban on behaviors deemed as "uncivilized" in an effort to improve public hygiene. The measures will enter into effect on Monday, June 1, and include the prohibition of sneezing or coughing without covering the nose or mouth as well as a requirement to "dress properly," with citizens no longer permitted to go bare-chested while in public.

Additionally, on Wednesday, April 22, authorities in Harbin (Heilongjiang province) tightened entry restrictions in the city, including a ban on non-residents and non-locally registered vehicles from entering residential areas. The city had previously ordered that persons arriving from outside China or other epidemic zones be tested and isolated for 28 days. The Chinese government claims that most of the recently imported cases of COVID-19 were imported from Russia. While the border remains open to Chinese nationals, state media has encouraged Chinese citizens to not return to China from Russia during the pandemic.

As of May 4, authorities have confirmed 83,964 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 4637 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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