(Reuters) – Places around the world are imposing or considering curbs on travellers from China amid a COVID-19 surge there after authorities relaxed “zero-COVID” rules.
They cite a lack of information from China on variants and are concerned about a wave of infections. China has rejected criticism of its COVID data and said it expects future mutations to be potentially more transmissible but less severe.
Below is a list of new regulations for travellers from China.
PLACES IMPOSING CURBS
The United States will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests on travellers from China beginning on Jan. 5. All air passengers 2 and older will require a negative result from a test no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said Americans should also reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The country has mandated a COVID-19 negative test report for travellers 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.
Japan will require a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival for travellers from mainland China. Those who test positive will be required to quarantine for seven days. New border measures for China will go into effect at midnight on Dec. 30. The government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China.
Italy has ordered COVID-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travellers coming 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”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.
Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre said all passengers on direct flights from China, as well as by boat at two offshore islands, will have to take PCR tests upon arrival, starting on Jan. 1.
South Korea will require travellers from China to provide negative COVID test results before departure, South Korea’s News1 news agency reported on Friday, after Beijing’s decision to lift stringent zero-COVID policies.
PLACES MONITORING SITUATION
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia was continuing to monitor the situation in respect of China “as we continue to monitor the impact of COVID here in Australia as well as around the world.”
The Southeast Asian country is being “very cautious” and could impose measures such as testing requirements on visitors from China, but not an outright ban, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.
Britain is reviewing whether to impose restrictions on people arriving from China after a surge in COVID infections there, but has no plans to do so, officials said.
Defence minister Ben Wallace said an update was possible in the coming days, but another minister said that a review of evidence so far did not suggest any concerning new variant that would lead the government to impose restrictions.