Previously, China only said it would facilitate the entry of those who received Chinese vaccines, which sparked violent reactions in countries where these vaccines are not available. A foreign coronavirus vaccine has not yet been approved for use in China.
The new consideration of Western vaccines reflects China’s efforts to open up again as the epidemic recedes in some parts of the world And countries consider different types of Pollen passports It can facilitate return to international travel.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said James Zimmerman, a partner at the Beijing-based international law firm Perkins Coy and former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
“It is very important to resume international travel as soon as possible for business, tourism and education,” he said. “American colleges and universities will face another lost year if something is not done soon.”
Travel to China is still restricted to those believed to be making essential trips, such as resuming work or visiting sick relatives.
The Chinese embassy has not gone as far as recommending American travelers to receive Western vaccines, but has said that they should follow the injection schedule if they get them.
“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, and the J&J vaccine needs one dose,” the embassy said in a Chinese language online notice on April 16th. They have completed the required number of vaccinations. “
The embassy said that the Corona virus vaccination records in the United States can be used to support a health code application if the traveler’s antibody test is inconclusive.
China controlled the outbreak of the Corona virus earlier than most countries, and began mass vaccination months earlier than the United States. But recently, Chinese health experts have warned that the country may delay the launch of vaccination, due to the low rates of vaccine effectiveness in China and the limited supplies of injections compared to the huge population.
The Wall Street Journal I mentioned last week That China was planning to approve the first foreign vaccine for the Coronavirus before July.
An employee answering the phone at the Chinese Consulate in Chicago said on Monday that vaccination is not a requirement for entering China. She said those who were vaccinated will have this information recorded in their health QR code. The Chinese embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
To enter China now under the epidemic measures, the traveler needs to have a negative test on two types of Corona virus tests: one for the genetic material of the virus, and the other for IgM antibodies that the body produces in the first weeks after infection.
The Chinese embassy said in the online notice that the recent vaccination could also result in a positive result in an antibody test.
According to the new guidelines, those who have received a positive, inconclusive IgM antibody test can still receive a health QR code if they receive a Chinese vaccine. If they receive Pfizer, Moderna or J&J vaccines, they can get a code with more trouble, by submitting their vaccination record and performing a second type of antibody test that is scanned for Protein N In place of the S.
Unvaccinated travelers who have tested positive for antibodies face a longer series of tests to prove they are not infected.
Separately from the health QR code, travelers must apply for a visa in a process that has been tightened in the epidemic. On arrival in China, they are required to undergo a two-week quarantine at an official facility, followed by a week of home quarantine.
China was an early proponent of vaccine passports, or certificates that allow governments to verify that an international traveler has been vaccinated. Foreign Minister Wang Yi He said last month China hopes to negotiate mutual recognition of its vaccines with other countries to speed up the return of international travel.
But even as they opened the door to more Western visitors, Chinese authorities have expressed concern about the increasing number Forged vaccination cards Available for purchase in the United States. In announcing the new measures, Friday, the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles Warning applicants Against counterfeiting vaccination cards.
“The consulate … will review the vaccination certificate, and if necessary, contact the department that issued the certificate to confirm,” she said.
The embassy in Washington echoed the same opinion: “In the event that the report is incorrect, or the vaccination certificate or test report is falsified, a health code will not be issued. All the resulting consequences will be borne by the parties themselves.”
Bi Lin Woo in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.