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Taiwan to require Chinese flying via HK, Macau to show proof of negative COVID test

China passengers transiting via HK, Macau must take COVID test 48 hours in advance

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A passenger arriving from China is tested for COVID-19 at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. France says it w...

A passenger arriving from China is tested for COVID-19 at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. France says it w...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (Jan. 3) announced that passengers originating from China and transferring through Hong Kong or Macau to Taiwan must submit proof of a negative PCR test result 48 hours before boarding their flight.

CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) that afternoon stated that out of a total of 657 passengers arriving from Taiwan at the Taoyuan and Songshan airports on New Year's Day (Jan. 1), 493 tested negative for COVID and 164 tested positive, which represented a positivity rate of 25%. CECC head Victor Wang (王必勝) then announced that due to the severity of the outbreak in China, from Jan. 6-31, passengers departing from China and entering Taiwan via Hong Kong or Macau must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before boarding their flight or a negative result from a rapid antigen test taken 24 hours in advance.

This new rule follows a requirement that went into effect on New Year's Day that passengers arriving from China must undergo saliva PCR tests.

Wang explained that out of the passengers arriving in Taiwan from China, about 20% first transit through Hong Kong and Macau. As Taiwan does not currently have an on-arrival testing requirement for passengers arriving from Hong Kong and Macau, Wang said it is necessary to add this extra requirement at their initial departure point.

Wang pointed out that the Hong Kong government requires Chinese arrivals to provide proof of a negative PCR test result received within 48 hours before their flight to the territory or a negative antigen test result received within 24 hours. Macau requires Chinese arrivals to present proof of a negative PCR test result 72 hours before their flight to the territory.

Therefore, Wang said that Taiwan's new testing policy for passengers from China is relatively consistent with what they would encounter if Hong Kong or Macau was their final destination.