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Regional airlines announce new Chinese travel measures

Harrison White / Khmer Times Share:
A customs officer answers questions for inbound passengers on a flight at the Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China. Xinhua

Major regional airlines that operate out of Thailand will force all travellers to and from China to show negative “nucleic acid tests for COVID-19” within five days of boarding flights starting on Aug 10.

The announcement was made by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the General Administration of Customs of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is hoped to simplify and increase travel arrangements.

Nucleic acid tests allow medical facilities to take either nasal or throat swabs and determine the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in the sample, determining the COVID-19 status of a person.

According to the announcement, for Chinese passengers, only those who can present green health codes with a specific mark (indicting a negative test) would be allowed to board the flight.

“The passport or other travel document numbers (with some digits in the middle replaced by asterisks) shown on the top of the health codes can be used to verify whether a passenger is presenting his or her own code,” it said.

For foreign passengers, only those who can present Health Declaration Forms issued by a Chinese embassy or consulate (if indicting a negative test) would be allowed to board, the announcement added.

Cambodia is also looking at ways to increase the ease of travel between major destinations such as China, as well as ensuring the safe and effective health measures are enforced to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Cambodia Airways Public Relations and Marketing Manager Sok Ravy told Khmer Times that the airline currently operates one flight per week between Phnom Penh and Chengdu the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province.

“We are still running limited flights between Cambodia and China at the moment while demand remains at very low levels,” Ravy said.

“That said, we will follow all new government announ- cements and hope to increase our flight numbers soon,” she added.

The announcement is the latest in developments as regional nations draft guidelines on a travel bubble.

Cambodia’s Tourism Minister Thong Khon said: “The ministry will consult with experts and the Ministry of Health to design a travel policy called a travel bubble to prepare tightly secured international tour packages from regions or countries with low COVID-19 infections,” Khon said.

“If this plan is successful, it will enable Cambodia to build confidence in the recovery of the tourism sector and secure laid-off workers affected by COVID-19 and ensure economic growth,” he added.

Cambodia expects to receive retired and rich visitors, especially those from safe areas, Khon said

“Asean and Asean-plus-three (China, Japan and South Korea being the additional three) will be the primary-targeted countries and the process must be conducted in gradual stages, with the approval of the Ministry of Health and with the permission of the Government,” he added.


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