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Q&A ON AIRLINE BOARDING REQUIREMENTS OF CERTIFICATES OF NEGATIVE RESULTS OF 2 NUCLEIC ACID TESTS FOR CHINA-BOUND PASSENGERS FROM GHANA
2020/11/30

On November 1, Chinese Embassy in Ghana released Notice on Airline Boarding Requirements for Certificates Of Negative Nucleic Acid and Anti-Body Blood Tests Results (Hereinafter referred to as NOTICE). In the view of the fact that at present no IgM antibody test is available to the public in Ghana, the Chinese Embassy in Ghana released Notice of Interim Measures of Two Separate Nucleic Acid Tests for China-Bound Passengers Taking Flights Departing from Ghana (Hereinafter referred to as INTERIM MEASURES) on November 6. In order to simplify the process of applying for Health Declaration Form for foreign citizens , Chinese Embassy in Ghana released Notice on Online Application for Health Declaration Certificate for Foreign Passengers on November 17. Recently some China-bound passengers from Ghana asked the Chinese Embassy in Ghana some questions, and the Embassy gives collective answers to the relevant questions as follows:

1. Do China-bound passengers from Ghana need to conduct two nucleic acid tests in Ghana, if they enter into and stay in a transit country for some days to receive the nucleic acid test and IgM antibody test? What are the important points about tests?

A: There is no direct flight from Ghana to China at present, and all China-bound passengers shall transit through a third country. According to the current regulations, all China-bound passengers transiting through a third country should take the 2 tests and apply for Health Code (for Chinese citizens) or Health Declaration Code (for non-Chinese citizens) in the country of departure. Passengers entering into and staying in the transit country for some days to conduct tests also need to do 2 tests in the country of departure if their purpose of entering the transit country is for doing tests and transiting to China. Failure of conducting tests and getting Health Code or Health Declaration Code in the country of departure could make it impossible for the passengers to apply for Health Code or Health Declaration Code from Chinese embassy/consulate in the transit country.

Before boarding the flight from Ghana to transit country, China-bound passengers should conduct 2 separate nucleic acid tests and apply for green health code with the mark of “HS” or health declaration certificate code with the mark of “HDC” from the Chinese Embassy in Ghana. The airlines operating the flight from Ghana to transit country checks the health code and health declaration code for the first time. Passengers need to conduct the 2 tests during transition in the third country for the second time and apply for green health code with the mark of “HS” or health declaration certificate code with the mark of “HDC” from the Chinese embassy/consulate in the transit country. The airlines operating the direct flight to China checks the health code and health declaration code for the second time.

The green health code with the mark of “HS” or health declaration certificate code with the mark of “HDC” obtained from the Chinese Embassy in Ghana can not be used in the transit country. Please choose the flights to China cautiously, read relevant notices released by the Chinese embassy/consulate in the transit country carefully, get complete information of the testing institutions and the time needed for obtaining testing certificates in the transit country, and arrange itinerary properly. Please clearly understand entering requirement of transit country, obtain visa needed for entry, and do all the preparations for entering the transit country to conduct tests. Avoid being stranded in the transit country due to failure to get “HS” health code or “HDC” health declaration code or being refused to enter the transit country for the tests.

2. Compared with the requirements in Notice on Airline Boarding Requirement in Ghana of Negative Nucleic Acid Test Certificate released by the Chinese Embassy in Ghana on September 4, what are the adjustments to the tests before boarding made by NOTICE and INTERIM MEASURES?

A: NOTICE and INTERIM MEASURES require two tests within 48 hours instead of one test within 72 hours before boarding. What’s more, the validity period of the green health code and health declaration code is calculated from the time of sampling instead of the time of issuing testing certificate.

NOTICE requires China-bound passengers to conduct 1 nucleic acid test and 1 blood IgM anti-body test. In view of the fact that at present the IgM anti-body test for COVID-19 is not available to the public in Ghana, 2 separate nucleic acid tests within 48 hours before boarding are required as an interim measures until further notice when IgM antibody test is available to the public in Ghana.

Recently, the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic surges dramatically. As the epidemic situation overseas is getting worse, China is facing greater risks of imported cases. In October, the number of imported cases stood at 515, rose by 45 percent compared with that in September. Under such circumstances, China has drawn upon other countries' practices and further strengthened pre-departure prevention and control measures for travelers visiting China. This helps not only preserve the hard-won epidemic containment results in China, but also minimize the risk of cross infection during air travel and safeguard people's health and security.

3. How to understand “ Two samplings and two testings should be done in two different testing institutions designated or recognized by Chinese Embassy in Ghana within 48 hours before boarding” in INTERIM MEASURES?

A:At present, no nucleic acid testing institution can reach the accuracy rate of 100%. In order to increase the effectiveness of nucleic acid tests of China-bound passengers from Ghana before boarding and reduce risk of the cross-border epidemic transmission, the Chinese Embassy in Ghana decided to implement the measure of 2 certificates of negative results of nucleic acid tests with 48 hours before boarding. Meanwhile, because of the different ways of sampling and testing and different reagents and equipment used in different testing institutions, sampling and testing in 2 different institutions helps to improve the reliability of the test results.

Because University of Ghana Medical Center and Public Health and Reference Laboratory at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital send the samples they collect to Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for testing, INTERIM MEASURES stipulates that only 1 institution could be chosen from the above 3 in order to improve the reliability of tests. This Embassy has recommended a list of 6 testing institutions. You can choose 1 institution from the above 3 and another 1 from remaining 3 in the list. Or You can also choose 2 institutions from the remaining 3 ones other than the above 3 in the list.

4. How to understand “The two samplings should be done with proper time interval”?

A: A proper time interval between two samplings helps to improve the accuracy of the tests. The best arrangement is to conduct 2 samplings in 2 days. If the 2 samplings are done on the same day, the shortest interval between the 2 samplings should be 6 hours.

5. There are 2 sampling dates for the 2 tests. Which date should be used as “sampling date” in application to Chinese embassy/consulate?

A:“Sampling date”should be the date of the first sampling. The validity of green health code and health declaration code should be calculated from the first sampling date. Testing certificates are not in unified form in Ghana, and they usually show several dates, such as sampling date, testing date and issuing date etc. Please ask your testing institutions to have sampling dates in the certificates of result.

For example:The certificate of the first test includes November 8 as the sampling date and November 9 as the testing date and certificate issuing date. For the second test, sampling date and issuing date are both November 9. Then the “sampling date” in application for health code and health declaration code should be November 8.

6. What are the detailed requirements for certificate of testing result?

A: For the description of nucleic acid test, different testing institutions describe nucleic acid test in different ways, but the description usually has two parts: testing means and testing purpose. In general, the testing means is described as PCR(Polymerase Chain Reaction)、RT-PCR or qRT-PCR. The testing purpose is usually described as for SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19.

As for the content of the testing certificate: The certificate, which should be the formal written certificate issued by testing institutions, usually includes but is not limited to name, date of birth, type of test, sampling date, testing result, name of the testing institution, seal and signature, contact information of the testing institution etc. The testing certificate should have sampling date(collection date, issuing date etc). A testing certificate without sampling date is considered invalid. Please contact the testing institution to complete the certificate if the sampling date is omitted. Filling passport number in testing certificate is encouraged.

7. For Chinese citizens, how to apply for health code after 2 certificates of negative results of nucleic acid test are obtained?

A: Please make sure that personal particulars (name, date of birth, gender etc.) in the certificates are correct. Upload 2 certificates of negative results of nucleic acid tests to the mini-program of the WeChat Health Code International Version as soon as possible to apply for green health code and get the green health code with the mark of “HS”.

For personal particulars, you need to fill your name and document number in your travel document which you use when boarding flights and entering China. The Ghanaian phone number must be provided, so that the Chinese Embassy can reach you when necessary. When choosing travel document, residents in mainland of China choose passport, and residents of the Hong Kong SAR, the Macao SAR and the Taiwan region choose “Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents”, “Mainland travel permit for Taiwan residents” or “Travel Document of P.R.C.” as per the travel documents they actually holds.

8. For non-Chinese citizens, how to apply for health declaration code with the mark of “HDC”?

A: Foreign passengers could use a browser to visit https://hrhk.cs.mfa.gov.cn/H5/ or use Wechat to scan QR code (in the notice released by Chinese Embassy in Ghana on November 17) to reach the web page for logging . After registering an account with your email, you can fill in your information and upload your certificates of negative results of two nucleic acid tests for the approval by Chinese Embassy in Ghana. When the system requires pictures of the nucleic acid test certificate and serum IgM antibody test report, China-bound passengers from Ghana can upload two certificates of negative results of two nucleic acid tests. After approved by the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, the health declaration code appears in the account of applicants.

9. What’s the information in the health declaration code? How to decide the validity period of the code?

A:The code, which has “HEALTH DECLARATION” as the tile on the top, includes the information of name, passport number, nationality, validity period and the remaining valid time.

The expiry shown in “HDC” health declaration code has been converted to Beijing Time on basis of the time difference between Beijing and the city where the test is conducted. Please decide whether your health declaration code is still valid as per the time difference between Beijing and the boarding city. You can also decide whether your code is still valid according to the remaining valid time shown on your code.

Health declaration code has English version and Chinese-English version. Yellow code means your application is in the process of examination by the Chinese embassy, green code is a valid one, and gray code shows that the code has expired.

10.What shall I do if I find the information submitted is wrong or I need to upload new testing certificates?

A: If you find information submitted is wrong or you need to upload new testing certificates, you can log in and click “Resubmit” button. You can use the function of “Resubmit” twice at most, so please use it carefully. If you click the “Resubmit” button, the program automatically cancels submitted application or granted “HS” health code or “HDC” health declaration code. After your application has be resubmitted, Chinese embassy/consulate examines your application in a order given automatically by the program. Re-submission without reason may delay the examination process of the Chinese embassy/consulate.

11. How long does it take to get green “HS” health code or “HDC” health declaration code after the testing certificates are uploaded?

A: The Chinese Embassy in Ghana examines applications and issues green “HS” health code or “HDC” health declaration code as soon as possible, not only in working days but also in public holidays and in weekend. As for unapproved applications, the program shows the reason, and passengers can reapply after necessary corrective action.

12. Do I need to take the original testing certificates with me to airport after I get green “HS” health code or “HDC” health declaration code ?

A: You are advised to take the original testing certificates with you to airport for check when required by airlines before boarding.

Chinese Embassy in Ghana

November 29, 2020

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