SINGAPORE, March 1 (CNA) - China on Wednesday (Mar 1) relaxed COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers from several countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia and New Zealand.

It is no longer mandatory for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result, which was to be taken no more than 48 hours before departure.

Instead, eligible travellers flying directly to China can take an Antigen Rapid Test (ART), within 48 hours before boarding.

"Passengers are required to travel to China with a negative test result. If you received a positive test result, you should only travel to China when you tested negative for COVID-19," the Chinese embassy in Singapore said in a notice on Wednesday.

It added that the rules are being eased "in accordance with the current situation of (the) COVID-19 pandemic and to facilitate people-to-people exchanges".

The testing rules have also been eased for travellers from Indonesia, Thailand, Switzerland and Russia.

Travellers are required to declare their negative test results on the China Customs website or through its app.

According to the notice, airlines will no longer check a passenger's negative PCR or ART results.

"You can go through customs with your health declaration result, and China Customs may conduct random sampling inspections," it added.

After three years of strict COVID-19 restrictions, China announced a nationwide easing of curbs last December.

About a month later on Jan 8, it scrapped quarantine measures for overseas arrivals, requiring travellers to take a PCR test 48 hours pre-flight to enter China.

PCR test results are still required for travellers from many countries, including the United States, South Korea and Japan.