Some countries are closing their doors as Chinese tourists prepare to travel again

Some countries are closing their doors as Chinese tourists prepare to travel again

As COVID-19 infections continue to rise in China and as concerns grow about the reliability of the country's reporting and the sequence of cases, more than a dozen countries have announced new entry restrictions for travelers arriving from China at a time when they are largely closed on my way.

Some countries, including the United States and Britain, are reintroducing compulsory pre-flight COVID-19 tests for people traveling from China. Others, such as Japan and Italy, require testing upon arrival and quarantine for those who test positive. One country, Morocco, has even decided to ban entry to all travelers coming directly from China in a measure that will take effect on Tuesday.

The new restrictions haven't gone down well in Beijing, which is a stunning reversal, began dismantling its strict COVID-free policies last month after a rare public outcry. Chinese state media has called the new testing requirements "discriminatory" and a politically motivated effort to undermine the Chinese government. Meanwhile, some public health experts have questioned the effectiveness of these measures. Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told the BBC: "Trying to block the virus by adjusting what we do with travel has already been proven not to work very well."

As China prepares to lift its border restrictions on January 8, the countries that have announced their restrictions on travelers from the country so far.


Italy was among the first countries to announce new entry requirements for travelers arriving from China. The Minister of Health announced on December 28 that all airline passengers would undergo mandatory testing upon arrival. Italy is the first European country to require such a test. Among the first flights to be tested, more than a third of its passengers tested positive for COVID-19. On another flight, half of the passengers tested positive.

United State

On December 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the United States would require travelers arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to provide a negative COVID-19 test two days before departure. The new restrictions, which will take effect on January 3, come amid growing concerns about China's lack of transparency about the outbreak and its failure to track and sequence variants within the country appropriately.

"Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world," the CDC said in its announcement. "However, low testing and reporting of cases in [People's Republic of China] and minimal sharing of viral genomic sequence data may delay the identification of new concern variants if they emerge."


From January 5, the French government announced that it would require travelers from China to present a negative COVID-19 test at least 48 hours before departure. Passengers must also wear a mask during the flight and undertake a random test upon arrival.

United Kingdom

From January 5, travelers from China to the UK will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken at least two days before departure. In addition, a sample of passengers will also be subject to testing upon arrival.

"The decision was made to introduce these measures specifically for arrivals in China due to the lack of comprehensive health information shared by China," China's Ministry of Health said in a statement. "If there are improvements in information sharing and greater transparency, the interim measures will be reviewed."


From January 3, the Spanish government will require travelers arriving from China to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. For the latter, Madrid said it would accept any vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization, which includes Sinovac and Chinese-made Sinopharm.

About a third of China's population - more than 250 million people - have yet to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The number rises to 60% for those 80 and older.


From January 5, people traveling from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to Australia will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken 48 hours before travel. "This is a temporary measure that reflects the lack of comprehensive information about the situation in China," said Mark Butler, Australia's health minister.


From January 5, all air travelers over the age of two coming from China, Hong Kong, and Macau will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test two days before their departure or prove a recent infection with the COVID-19 virus. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the measures will be reassessed after 30 days. Hide-and-go during flight is highly recommended but not required.


Japan, among the first countries to impose new entry requirements, required from December 30 that all travelers from China (except Hong Kong and Macau) be tested upon arrival. Those who test positive will be required to self-quarantine for seven days.

South Korea

From January 5, travelers from China will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test before and after arriving in the country, the government announced on December 30. South Korea also said it would restrict the issuance of short-term visas to Chinese citizens until the end of the month and temporarily halt increased flights between neighboring countries.


From January 1, India announced that it would require travelers arriving in China and Hong Kong, as well as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand, to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before departure. . The Indian government previously announced that it would also start randomly testing 2% of international arrivals for COVID-19.


On December 30, the Malaysian government announced that it would begin screening all travelers arriving from China and elsewhere for fever, treating those who have a fever or other symptoms with a COVID-19 test. The government said it would also test sewage on planes coming from China to detect new variants.


Israel announced on December 30 that all non-Israeli travelers arriving from China would undergo pre-flight PCR tests conducted within 72 hours before departure.


From January 3, all travelers from China must present a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of departure, regardless of their vaccination status.


From January 3, all travelers from China, regardless of nationality, will be banned from entering Morocco. The announcement, which came just days before the ban was due to be imposed, is the most drastic measure yet taken by any country in response to a surge in cases in China.

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