Once again a lack of information from China is stoking uncertainties and fears, prompting more and more destinations to put in place testing requirements for inbound Chinese travelers. The list grows to start out 2023.
Authorities around the world are imposing or considering curbs on travellers from China as COVID-19 cases in the country 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
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 also said U.S. citizens should also reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The UK will require a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test from passengers from China as of Jan. 5, the Department of Health said on Friday.
France will require travellers from China to provide a negative COVID test result less than 48 hours before departure, the health and transport ministries said on Friday.
From Jan. 1, France will also carry out random PCR COVID tests upon arrival on some travellers coming from China, a government official told reporters.
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, joining other nations that have implemented similiar restrictions as cases surge in China.
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.
Air travellers to Canada from China must test negative for COVID-19 no more than two days before departure, Ottawa said on Saturday, joining other nations that have implemented such restrictions.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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 to provide negative COVID test results before departure, South Korea’s News1 news agency reported on Friday.
Morocco will impose a ban on people arriving from China, whatever their nationality, from Jan. 3 to avert any new wave of coronavirus infections, the foreign ministry said on Saturday.
Places Monitoring Situation
The Philippines sees a need to intensify the monitoring and implementation of border control for incoming individuals especially from China that is experiencing a record surge in COVID-19 cases, Manila’s health ministry said on Saturday.
(Compiled by Bernard Orr; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Josie Kao)