As of right now and for the foreseeable future, one of the most important documents you’ll have to present upon entry in China is an official certificate that declares you COVID-free. Previously you only needed a negative COVID Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) issued within 72hours (3 days) of taking a flight bound for China or an itinerary with China as the final destination.
With the onset of locally transmitted cases linked to arrivals to China, restrictions on entering China have tightened
As of November 3rd, all travellers need a Negative COVID Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) and a COVID-19 IgG antibody test taken within 48 hours (2 days) prior to traveling, at an authorised medical facility. This requires you to get a swab of throat and nose as well as a blood tests to detect COVID-19 antibodies in your system.
For instructions of where to go and what to do, contact your nearest Chinese Embassy/Consulate, who’ll provide you with a list of approved medical facilities.
The test-time requirement had already been decreased from 5 days to 3 days in response to an increase of infections in the country. The new 48 hour time frame has thrown up some challenges to those wanting to travel.
You will need to find a testing facility that will guarantee results within 24 hours. This should give you you enough time to have those results, and subsequent health declaration form, legalised by the Chinese authorities. Under no circumstance will you be allowed to Tavel without this document. So, all this needs to happen before you get on a plane.
For more in depth details, please refer to Planning a Trip or Returning to China in 2020