BEIJING, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Several places around the world have imposed curbs on travellers from China amid a COVID-19 surge after Beijing relaxed strict “zero-COVID” measures. They cite a lack of information from China on variants and are concerned about a wave of infections.
China has rejected criticism of its statistics and said it expects future mutations to be potentially more virulent but less severe.
Below is a list of rules for travellers from China:
The U.S. will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests on travelers from China beginning on Jan. 5. All air passengers 2 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 Americans should also reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The country has mandated a COVID-19 negative test report for travellers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, the health minister said. Passengers from those countries will be put under quarantine if they showed symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive.
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 Dec. 30. The government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China. Hong Kong’s government has asked Japan to withdraw a restriction that requires passenger flights from the financial hub to land at four designated Japanese airports, saying the decision will affect about 60,000 passengers.
The country has ordered COVID-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travellers coming 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”, minister Orazio Schillaci said, when announcing mandatory testing for passengers.
Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said all passengers arriving on direct flights from China, as well as by boat at two offshore islands, will have to take PCR tests upon arrival.
Taiwan will test arrivals from China for COVID-19 starting Jan. 1.
COUNTRIES CONSIDERING TRAVEL CURBS
The UK will consider imposing COVID-19 restrictions for arrivals from China, including requiring tests for the coronavirus, the Telegraph reported. Officials from the Department for Transport, Home Office and the Department for Health and Social Care are expected to decide on Thursday whether the UK should follow the United States and Italy in imposing COVID restrictions for travellers from China, the report said.
COUNTRIES MONITORING SITUATION
The country said it was making no change to its rules around allowing travellers from China in. “There is no change in the travel advice at this point in time but we are continuing to monitor the situation, as we continue to monitor the impact of COVID here in Australia as well as around the world,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
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 on Wednesday.
Compiled by Bernard Orr; Editing by Gerry Doyle
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