Countries mandate COVID tests for China travellers, EU to discuss
Authorities around the world are imposing or considering curbs on travellers from China as COVID-19 cases there surge following its relaxation of “zero-COVID” rules. China has rejected criticism of its COVID data.
PLACES IMPOSING CURBS
The United States will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests on travellers from China beginning on Jan. 5. All air passengers aged two and older will require a negative result from a test no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said U.S. citizens should reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The UK will require a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test for passengers from China as of Jan. 5, the Department of Health said on Friday. However, a report in The Independent on Monday said passengers from China who arrive in the United Kingdom next week will not face compulsory COVID-19 tests on arrival.
France will require travellers from China to provide a negative COVID test result less than 48 hours before departure.
Starting Jan. 1, France will carry out random PCR COVID tests upon arrival on travellers coming from China, a government official told reporters.
France has urged all 26 other European Union member states to test Chinese travellers for COVID.
Travellers from China to Australia will need to submit a negative COVID-19 test from Jan. 5, Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said on Sunday.
The country has mandated a COVID-19 negative test report for travellers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. Passengers from those countries will be quarantined if they show symptoms or test positive.
Air travellers to Canada from China must test negative for COVID-19 no more than two days before departure, Ottawa said.
Japan will require a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival for travellers from mainland China. Those who test positive will be required to quarantine for seven days. New border measures for China went into effect at midnight on Dec. 30. The government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China.
Italy has ordered COVID-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travellers from China. Milan’s main airport, Malpensa, has already started testing passengers arriving from Beijing and Shanghai.
Spain will require a negative COVID-19 test or a full course of vaccination against the disease upon arrival for travellers from China.
Malaysia will screen all inbound travellers for fever and test wastewater from aircraft arriving from China for COVID-19.
Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said all passengers on direct flights from China, as well as by boat at two offshore islands, will have to take PCR tests upon arrival, starting on Jan. 1.
South Korea will require travellers from China, Macau and Hong Kong to provide negative COVID test results before departure, health authorities said.
Morocco will impose a ban on people arriving from China, whatever their nationality, from Jan. 3.
Qatar will require travellers arriving from China from Jan. 3 to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of departure, state news agency QNA said.
Belgium will test wastewater from planes arriving from China for new COVID variants as part of new steps against the spread of the coronavirus, the government announced on Monday.
Newly appointed Health Minister Aryeh Deri announced new COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers from China, joining other nations imposing restrictions because of a surge of infections, according to the Times of Israel.
PLACES MONITORING SITUATION
European Union government health officials will hold talks on Wednesday on a coordinated response to the surge in COVID-19 infections in China, the Swedish EU presidency said on Monday, after December talks concluded with no decisions on the matter.
The Philippines sees a need to intensify monitoring and implementation of border controls for incoming individuals especially from China, Manila’s health ministry said.