More countries roll out China traveller checks amid COVID surge


BEIJING: As the number of COVID-19 cases in China continues to rise, more than a dozen countries are placing restrictions on Chinese travelers’ entry, with Australia the latest to require a negative test prior to travel.

Last month, Beijing unexpectedly started destroying its “zero-Coronavirus” control strategy of lockdowns and mass testing, three years after the Covid previously arose in the city of Wuhan.

Officials in China have maintained that the COVID epidemic is “under control” despite the fact that the true number of infections is “impossible” to monitor.

The travel requirement, which will take effect on January 5, was explained by Australia’s health minister on Sunday as the result of Beijing’s “lack of comprehensive information” regarding COVID cases. He claimed that the move will “protect Australia from the risk of potential new emerging variants.”

Travelers from China have recently been subjected to either a negative COVID test requirement or testing upon arrival in the following countries: Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Taiwan.

For its demand for negative tests, Canada cited “the limited epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data available” regarding recent COVID cases in China.

“To avoid a new wave of contaminations in Morocco and all its consequences,” Morocco decided on Saturday to ban all Chinese visitors.

After Beijing announced that the mandatory quarantine for inbound passengers would end on January 8, the flurry of global travel restrictions began as nations anticipated a surge in Chinese visitors.

In light of the absence of outbreak information provided by Beijing, the precautionary measures have been deemed “understandable” by the World Health Organization.

However, the restrictions were not justified or based on risk, according to the European branch of the International Airports Council, which represents more than 500 airports in 55 European nations.

Sweden, the new holder of the EU presidency, stated that it was “seeking a common policy for the entire EU when it comes to the introduction of possible entry restrictions.” European nations will meet next week to discuss a joint response to the problem.

‘Light of trust’

Despite the fact that some of China’s major cities appear to be recovering from the current outbreak, rural and smaller cities with fewer resources have been particularly hard hit.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Sunday that she is “willing to provide necessary assistance based on humanitarian concerns” in response to the outbreak. However, she did not specify what kind of assistance Beijing might receive because Beijing views the self-governing island as a breakaway province.

However, Chinese President Xi Jinping ended his televised New Year’s address on a positive note.

In a speech that was broadcast on state media on Saturday, Xi stated, “Epidemic prevention and control is entering a new phase… Everyone is working resolutely, and the light of hope is right in front of us.”

Xi made a comment on the outbreak for the second time this week. He demanded measures to “effectively protect people’s lives” on Monday.

Even though the number of infections went up, there were still a lot of people celebrating New Year’s Eve in Shanghai and Wuhan. However, some people who used social media said the celebrations seemed less intense than in previous years.

Out of its 1.4 billion people, China reported more than 5,100 new COVID infections and one death on Sunday. However, the numbers appear to be out of step with the reality.

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