Health authorities cite a lack of transparency and information from Chinese officials on the number of new cases and the status of any new variants and are concerned about a wave of infections. Indeed, the World Health Organization called the new restrictions “understandable” in light of this, while urging the Beijing government to share more data on genetic sequencing, death tolls, hospitalizations, and the number of new daily infections.
The latest countries to put curbs in place include France, which also the European Union to adopt restrictions for the bloc; Morocco; Qatar; and South Korea.
Here are the countries that have imposed restrictions on travelers arriving from or via China.
France will require passengers arriving from China to provide a negative coronavirus test result from a test taken less than 48 hours before departure. The country is also carrying out random PCR tests on some travelers coming from China, a government official said.
a In India, officials have mandated that travelers present a negative coronavirus test if arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, the health minister said. Passengers from those countries will be quarantined if they show symptoms or test positive.
Italy will require Covid antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travelers arriving 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,” Ministro Della Salute Orazio Schillaci said. The Italian government is also encouraging the European Union to adopt a similar stance but some EU countries are resisting the move.
Japan said it will require all arriving passengers from mainland China to present a negative coronavirus test. Those individuals who test positive will be required to quarantine for seven days. The new measures go into effect at midnight on December 30. The government also said that it would limit requests from airlines to increase the number of flights to and from China.
Morocco is imposing a ban on people arriving from China that goes into January 3, regardless of nationality. The government there cited the need to avoid “a new wave of contaminations” and “all its consequences.”
Effective Tuesday, the Qatar government will require all travelers arriving from China to provide a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of departure, the state news agency QNA said.
South Korea will require travelers from China to provide negative coronavirus test results before departure, according to a report from South Korea’s News1 news agency.
In Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Centre said all passengers on direct flights from China, as well as those traveling via boat to two offshore islands, will have to take PCR tests upon arrival, starting on January 1, 2023.
The United Kingdom will require a pre-departure negative coronavirus test from passengers from China starting on January 5, the country’s Department of Health announced last Friday.
The United States announced on Wednesday that it will mandate coronavirus tests for all travelers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, regardless of nationality. All arriving foreign passengers continue to be required to present proof of full vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that Americans don’t travel to those three destinations at the present time.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)