Spain, France, and the United Kingdom are the latest of several countries to impose travel restrictions on China amid fears of a renewed COVID-19 outbreak.
China faces a surge in travel after Beijing eased its draconian COVID-19 policies as Chinese citizens look to capitalize on renewed opportunities to journey abroad. On Tuesday morning, airline ticket sales for flights going out of China were 254% greater than the day before. The travel surge has sparked fears in other countries, mainly Western ones, whose leaders worry that the travelers could carry COVID-19 with them.
CHINA SURGE: FLIGHTS IN AND OUT SOAR AFTER BEIJING LOOSENS COVID RESTRICTIONS
Passengers prepare to board a flight at the airport in north-central China’s Jiangxi province on Nov. 1, 2022. The Chinese government said Tuesday, Dec. 27 it will start issuing new passports as it dismantles anti-virus travel barriers, setting up a potential flood of millions of tourists out of China for next month’s Lunar New Year holiday. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) Ng Han Guan/AP
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak authorized a new measure that will require all travelers from the Chinese mainland to have a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country, starting Jan. 5, according to the Financial Times. From Jan. 8 onward, British authorities will randomly test travelers from China.
Health secretary Steve Barclay defended the measure as “a balanced and precautionary approach by announcing these temporary measures while we assess the data.”
France also announced a mandatory negative COVID-19 test for all travelers from China, who must also wear a mask during flights to the country. The government had previously said that there was no need for restrictions, as the country believed the number of travelers coming from China was negligible.
Spain will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from travelers from China, starting immediately.
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“There is concern about the evolution of infections in China and about the difficulty of assessing the situation given the scarce information currently available,” Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias said.
Several more European Union countries are expected to institute similar restrictions in the near future.
The United States said this past week that it would require travelers from China to show a negative test before boarding flights.
Original Location: European countries join US in restricting travel from China amid COVID-19 outbreak
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