The Chinese Embassy in Manila announced yesterday that all passengers coming from the Philippines will be required to present negative coronavirus test results before being allowed to enter China starting Aug. 20.
In its statement yesterday, the Embassy said that travelers need to take nucleic acid tests “within five days before boarding and only those who test negative will be allowed to board the plane.”
A nucleic acid test, such as the “gold standard” real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, is different from a rapid test, which has a high chance of producing false results.
However, the Embassy said that travelers should only take their coronavirus tests from “designated institutions” which are listed on its website. After taking the test, a passenger needs to e-mail a copy of it to the Embassy, along with a completed health declaration form and a copy of the details page of his passport. The Embassy will then send back a certified health declaration form with a five-day validity, which the traveler has to present at the airport during check-in or before boarding.
“Passengers who provide false certificates or information shall bear corresponding legal liabilities,” the Embassy warned. “Please be noted that a certified Health Declaration Form is NOT a Chinese visa.”
Aside from China, its special administrative region Hong Kong requires negative coronavirus tests from passengers departing from the Philippines. The United Arab Emirates also requires the same from all passengers coming from the country.
The Philippines has the most number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with 136,638 recorded as of yesterday. Indonesia, which has the second-highest number of cases in the region, recorded 128,776 as of yesterday. The Duterte government has claimed that the country conducts the most number of tests in Southeast Asia to explain the skyrocketing number of cases. However, Singapore has recorded the highest number of daily tests at 40,000 each day.