More than a dozen countries have slapped fresh travel regulations on travellers from China, as the world’s most populous nation faces a surge in COVID cases following its decision to relax strict virus restrictions.
Here is a run-down of the places that have imposed mandatory COVID tests and other rules on arrivals from China, which Beijing has condemned as “unacceptable”.
From Thursday, the United States will require negative COVID tests taken within two days of departure—or documentation proving passengers have recovered from the virus within the past 90 days—for all entries from China.
Acceptable tests include “a PCR test or an antigen self-test administered and monitored by a telehealth service or a licensed provider”, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.
The rules include those travelling from Hong Kong and Macau.
Also from Thursday, all those arriving in France from China must present a negative PCR test result, or a rapid antigen test, that was taken less than 48 hours before their flight.
Italy and Spain have also imposed COVID test requirements.
The bloc said this week it “strongly encouraged” member states demand COVID tests from passengers coming from China and that arrivals are screened for the virus.
Australia is also requiring travellers from China—including Hong Kong and Macau—to provide a negative COVID-19 test before arrival, citing a “lack of comprehensive information” from Beijing about the outbreak.
Canada is asking travellers arriving from China to show a negative COVID test taken no more than two days before their departure.
From Thursday, all travellers to the UK from China must submit a negative test before boarding.
The UK government also said it would test “a sample of arrivals” to monitor for new variants.
Israel is requiring COVID tests on foreigners intending to travel from China, with a screening centre set up to test arrivals who volunteer.
Japan was one of the first countries to impose new rules on arrivals from China, requiring them to submit a negative COVID test.
Those who test positive will be quarantined for seven days at designated facilities and Tokyo will also cap flights coming from mainland China.
From Sunday, Japanese authorities will also test travellers from China on arrival.
The self-ruled island of Taiwan—which China claims as its territory—has imposed testing requirements too, with state news agency CNA reporting that travellers from the mainland will be asked to undergo a saliva-based screening upon arrival.
South Korea has also taken steps to screen travellers from China, requiring them to provide a negative COVID test before and after arrival.
Travellers from Hong Kong and Macau are included in the rules, which will also require all arrivals to take a COVID-19 test on their first day in South Korea.
Ghana has become one of the first African countries to impose restrictions on travellers from China.
Its foreign ministry said that, from Friday, all arrivals from China must provide a negative test taken before departure as well as submit to mandatory screening for the virus.
India requires travellers from China and a spate of other Asian countries to provide a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Qatar is asking all travellers from China to present a negative PCR result taken within 48 hours of departure, the Gulf state’s health ministry has said.
Those who are infected on arrival “must undergo health isolation”, state news agency QNA reported.
The north African nation has taken some of the strictest measures, banning entry outright for all travellers from China.
The ban took effect on Tuesday and will last until further notice, “in order to avoid a new wave of contaminations in Morocco and all its consequences”, its foreign ministry said.
© 2023 AFP
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