Spain, Malaysia latest to join nations imposing Covid-19 curbs on travellers from China

China has rejected criticism of its coronavirus data and said it expects future mutations to be potentially more transmissible, but less severe



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Fri 30 Dec 2022, 2:29 PM

Authorities around the world are imposing or considering curbs on travellers from China as Covid-19 case there surge following its relaxation of "zero-Covid" rules.

They cite a lack of information from China on variants and are concerned about a wave of infections. China has rejected criticism of its Covid data and said it expects future mutations to be potentially more transmissible but less severe.

Below is a list of regulations for travellers from China.

Places imposing curbs

1. United States

The United States will impose mandatory Covid-19 tests on travellers from China beginning on January 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 (CDC) also said that US citizens should also reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.

2. India

The country has mandated a Covid-19 negative test report for travellers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, the health minister said. Passengers from those countries will be quarantined if they show symptoms or test positive.

3.Japan

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 will go into effect at midnight on December 30. The government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China.

4.Italy

Italy has ordered Covid-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travellers from China. Milan's main airport, Malpensa, had already started testing passengers arriving from Beijing and Shanghai.

"The measure is essential to ensure surveillance and detection of possible variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population," Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

5.Spain

Spain will require a negative Covid-19 test or a full course of vaccination against the disease upon arrival for travellers from China, the country's Health Minister Carolina Darias said.

6. Malaysia

Malaysia will screen all inbound travellers for fever and test wastewater from aircraft arriving from China for Covid-19, Minister Zaliha Mustafa said in a statement.

7. Taiwan

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 January 1.

8. South Korea

South Korea will require travellers from China to provide negative Covid test results before departure — South Korea's News1 news agency reported on Friday — after Beijing's decision to lift stringent zero-Covid policies.

Places monitoring the situation

1. Australia

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia was monitoring the situation in respect of China "as we continue to monitor the impact of Covid here in Australia as well as around the world".

2. Philippines

The Southeast Asian country is being "very cautious" and could impose measures such as testing requirements on visitors from China, but not an outright ban, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

3. Britain

Britain is reviewing whether to impose restrictions on people arriving from China, but has no plans to do so, officials said.

Defence minister Ben Wallace said that an update was possible in the coming days, but another minister said that a review of evidence so far did not suggest any concerning new variant that would lead the government to impose restrictions.

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