The new steps come as COVID-19 cases soar in China, which has relaxed its rules as part of its “zero Covid” policy.
Some countries around the world have imposed restrictions on those coming to them from China, while others have begun to study taking these steps.
This coincides with the rise in Covid-19 cases in this Asian country, after Beijing eased the rules it imposes within the framework of the “zero Covid” policy.
On the other hand, China rejects criticism of its data on Covid, considering it “politicized”.
What countries started imposing restrictions?
- United State
The United States mandated COVID-19 tests for people arriving from China starting January 5th. All air travelers aged two years or older will have to present a negative test result conducted at least two days before leaving China, Hong Kong or Macau.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said US citizens should reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.
- European Union
On Wednesday, European Union government officials recommended that travelers arriving from China should present a negative COVID-19 test before boarding flights.
They also proposed obligating all passengers on travel to and from China to wear masks, and that bloc governments conduct random checks for passengers on flights coming from China, and test waste water at airports that planes and international flights arrive from China.
Germany is implementing new entry rules for travelers from China as soon as possible. But Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said last Thursday that the first flights that would be affected could not be disclosed.
Two government officials said Thursday that new instructions requiring air travelers from China to Greece to present a negative COVID-19 test conducted 48 hours before arrival will be announced soon.
The government said Sweden will require travelers from China to present a negative COVID-19 test before they are allowed to enter the country.
The UK Department of Health announced last Friday that the UK will require negative pre-departure COVID-19 test results for passengers arriving from China, from January 5th.
France will require travelers arriving from China to present a negative Covid test result less than 48 hours before departure.
A government official told reporters that starting from January 1, France will conduct random PCR tests upon arrival of travelers from China.
France is urging all 26 other EU countries to screen Chinese travelers for COVID-19.
Australian Health Minister Mark Butler revealed that travelers from China to Australia are required to present a negative result of a Covid-19 test, starting from the fifth of January.
The country has required a negative COVID-19 test result for travelers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
Passengers from those countries will have to be placed in quarantine if they develop symptoms or test positive.
Ottawa has confirmed that air travelers from China to Canada must present a negative COVID-19 test result at least two days before departure.
The prime minister said on January 4 that his country would require a negative COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours before boarding direct flights from China.
This will be in addition to existing instructions requiring passengers who have been in China within seven days of their journeys to be tested for COVID upon arrival in Japan.
Those who test positive will have to self-quarantine for seven days.
Italy has mandated COVID-19 swabs from all travelers arriving from China. Malpensa Airport, Milan’s main airport, has begun testing passengers arriving from Beijing and Shanghai.
Spain will require a negative COVID-19 test result or a full dose of vaccinations against the disease upon arrival of travelers from China.
Malaysia will screen all incoming travelers for symptoms of fever, and sewage from aircraft from China will be tested for COVID-19.
Taiwan’s Central Epidemiological Command Center this month began requiring all passengers arriving from China to undergo a PCR test upon arrival.
- South Korea
Health authorities said the country will require travelers from China, Macau and Hong Kong to provide negative COVID-19 test results before departure.
Morocco imposed a ban on arrivals from China, regardless of their nationality, as of January 3.
The official Qatar News Agency said that Qatar will require travelers arriving from China, starting from January 3, to submit a negative result for a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of the time of departure.
The government has announced that the country will test wastewater from planes arriving from China for any new variants of COVID-19, as part of new steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The Times of Israel reported that the new Minister of Health, Aryeh Deri, announced new COVID-19 examination requirements for arrivals from China, thus joining Israel among countries imposing restrictions in light of the high number of infections.
The government said on Friday that the Netherlands will require people arriving from China to show a negative COVID-19 test before they are allowed to enter the country. The instructions will come into effect on Tuesday.
Last Friday, the Ministry of Health announced that Portugal will require air travelers from China to present a negative COVID-19 test conducted at most two days before departure.
The instructions came into effect on Sunday, and the country said that people arriving from China may undergo random checks to monitor “any genetic sequence of mutants to contribute to an adequate assessment of the epidemiological situation.”