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As Chinese Tourists Prepare to Travel Again, Some Countries Close Their Doors


On January 1, 2023, travelers on flights from China enter the COVID-19 test center at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris as France tightens border health measures for passengers arriving from China. Credit – Julien De Rosa — AFP via Getty Images

More than a dozen countries have announced new entry restrictions for travelers arriving from China as COVID-19 infections continue to rise in China and concerns grow over the reliability of the country’s reporting and case sequencing. In the middle.

Some countries, including the US and UK, have reintroduced mandatory pre-flight COVID-19 testing for travelers from China. Other countries, such as Japan and Italy, require tests upon arrival and quarantine for those who test positive. One country, Morocco, has even decided to completely ban all travelers coming from China from entering the country with measures that go into effect on Tuesday.

read more: China’s astonishing U-turn in zero coronavirus moves Xi Jinping from stifling control to callous inaction

New regulations are not working well in Beijing. Last month, following a rare public outcry, we began dismantling our draconian zero COVID policy in a surprising reversal. Chinese state media have denounced the new testing requirements as “discriminatory” and a politically motivated effort to undermine the Chinese government. Meanwhile, some public health experts question the effectiveness of these measures. Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told the BBC: “It’s already been shown that trying to ban the virus by tailoring what we do in our travels doesn’t work very well.

Here are the countries that have announced their own restrictions on inbound travelers so far, as China prepares to lift its own border restrictions on January 8.


Italy was one of the first countries to announce new entry requirements for travelers arriving from China, with the Minister of Health announcing on 28 December that all airline passengers will be subject to mandatory inspections upon arrival. did. Italy is so far the first and only European country to require such tests. On one of his first flights tested, more than a third of all passengers tested positive for his COVID-19. On another flight, half of the passengers tested positive.


On December 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the United States will require travelers arriving from China, Hong Kong and Macau to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken at least two days before departure. . The new restrictions, which take effect January 3, come amid growing concerns over China’s lack of transparency about the outbreak and its inability to adequately track and sequence subspecies in the country. Done.

“Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world,” the CDC said in a statement. “However, declining testing and case reporting in the country [People’s Republic of China] Minimizing the sharing of viral genome sequence data may delay the identification of new variants of concern if they arise. “


The French government has announced that from January 5, travelers from China will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result 48 hours before departure. Passengers must also promise to wear masks during the flight and be randomly tested upon arrival.


From 5 January, travelers from China to the UK will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken at least two days before departure. In addition, passenger samples are also subject to testing upon arrival.

“Due to the lack of comprehensive health information shared by China, the decision was made to introduce these measures specifically for arrivals from China,” the country’s health department said in a statement. “If there is better information sharing and more transparency, the temporary measures will be reviewed.”


Starting January 3, the Spanish government will require travelers arriving from China to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination. As for the latter, Madrid said it would accept vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, including Sinovac and Sinopharm made in China.

About a third of China’s population (more than 250 million) has not received the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 80 he reaches 60%.


From 5 January, anyone traveling to Australia from China, Hong Kong or Macau will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours prior to travel. Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said: “This is a temporary measure that reflects the current lack of comprehensive information on the situation in China.


Beginning January 5, all air travelers over the age of two arriving from China, Hong Kong and Macau will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result or show evidence of recent COVID-19 infection at least two days prior to departure. Proof must be submitted. The measure will be re-evaluated after his 30 days, according to Public Health Canada. In-flight masking is highly recommended but not required.


Japan, one of the first countries to impose new entry requirements, required all travelers from China (except Hong Kong and Macau) to be tested on arrival from 30 December. Those who test positive must be quarantined for 7 days.


On December 30, the government announced that from January 5, travelers from China must be tested for COVID-19 before and after entering the country. South Korea also said it would limit the issuance of short-term visas to Chinese nationals. Suspend domestic flights until the end of the month and temporarily halt the increase in flights between neighboring countries.


As of January 1, India requires 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. announced that it would request The Indian government has previously announced that it will randomly start testing her for COVID-19 on his 2% of international arrivals.


On December 30, the Malaysian government announced it would begin fever screening of all incoming travelers from China and elsewhere, and conduct COVID-19 testing for anyone detected to have a fever or other symptoms. The government said it would also test wastewater from aircraft arriving from China to detect new subspecies.


Israel announced on December 30 that all non-Israeli travelers arriving from China will be subject to a pre-flight PCR test conducted within 72 hours before departure.


Beginning January 3, all travelers from China will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of departure, regardless of vaccination status.


From January 3, all travelers from China, regardless of nationality, will be banned from entering Morocco. The announcement, made days before the ban was imposed, is the toughest action taken by any country in response to the surge in cases in China.