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Breaking News: COVID Testing Now Mandatory for Travellers from China, Hong Kong and Macau Entering Australia

UPDATE (16 March 2023): As of 11 March 2023, COVID-19 testing is no long mandatory for travellers entering Australia from China, Hong Kong and Macau. Click here for the latest updates

From 12:01am today (5 January 2023), travellers from China, Hong Kong and Macau will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of boarding a flight to Australia. Travellers will also be required to show evidence of this negative test result upon entry into the country. The decision comes as COVID cases in China continue to rise, particularly in the prominent tourism and business sectors.

Health Minister Mark Butler announced the change in Adelaide on Sunday 1 January 2023. In his remarks, he emphasised that these measures would be temporary and that the decision was “made out of an abundance of caution, taking into account the dynamic and evolving situation in China and the potential for new variants to emerge in an environment of high transmission.” 

“These arrangements have not been put in place lightly,” he added. 

Australia is now one of multiple countries across the world implementing such measures, joining the ranks of Canada, India, Japan, Malaysia, the UK and the US. 

The Chinese government has not responded favourably to these restrictions. Mao Ning, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, declared that the measures being applied were not “science-based.” 

“We firmly reject using COVID measures for political purposes and will take corresponding measures in response to varying situations based on the principle of reciprocity,” she said.

Mao Ning did not specify what these responsive measures would look like. 

You can learn more about the change to COVID testing requirements here.