China has announced it will require 14 days of self-quarantine for travellers departing from high risk locations.

The new rule applies to a number of African countries, such as the Republic of Congo, Seychelles, and South Africa, as well as other high risk locations including Egypt, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, according to the respective Chinese embassy websites.

Travellers departing from high risk countries will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to departure. PCR and antibody tests will also need to be taken at designated venues within 48 hours of boarding to qualify for a green health code.

Upon arrival in China, travellers will not be exempt from standard quarantine requirements.

The tightened restrictions are intended to “consolidate the hard-won results of epidemic prevention and control” and to “ensure the health and safety of those whose travel to China is absolutely essential”, said the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia.

Other Chinese embassies worldwide also issued an advisory this month that travellers must opt for nonstop flights, if available, to qualify for a green health code. Where connecting flights are required, only one transit will be permitted.

“There has recently been a sharp increase of imported Covid-19 cases from the United States in China. Most of them can be traced to infection in transit, while a few are related to faulty operations of intermediary agencies and laboratories or to passengers’ non-observance of home quarantine requirements after testing,” read a notice from the Chinese Embassy in the US.

The latest announcement comes after the Chinese government tightened its route suspension criteria in December for airlines which transport positive cases into the country.