More countries are imposing Covid-19 restrictions on Chinese travelers – RT World News

France and the UK will require visitors from China to test negative before boarding flights

People traveling to France from China will have to present a negative Covid-19 test before boarding their flights, the Paris government confirmed on Friday, adding that the test results must be less than 48 hours old and that some passengers will be subject to further random screenings upon arrival. Any positive test will be sequenced to look for new variants of the virus.

The UK has adopted a similar policy, requiring all travelers whose flights originate from China to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no later than two days before travel, according to a statement released by the department on Friday. of Health and Social Affairs.

Also on Friday, Spain announced that visitors from China will have to test negative for the virus or present proof that they have been fully vaccinated against it. Italy on Wednesday became the first EU country to set up the testing roadblock for Chinese travellers.

Madrid and Rome have urged the EU to adopt a unified strategy to control what they fear is an influx of virus-carrying Chinese tourists after Beijing shelved its controversial zero-Covid strategy earlier this month. But the bloc’s health agency argued on Thursday that mandatory screenings for all Chinese tourists were « unjustified. » Additionally, EU members Portugal and Austria are against the restrictions. Germany has not announced any new rules to date.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach revealed on Friday that his country was working on a variant monitoring system at all European airports, which theoretically would detect and alert authorities to any unknown variants. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has urged governments not to panic, citing the « higher population immunity » and greater exposure to « variants currently circulating in China », while promising to « stay alert. »

Beijing criticized the testing requirements as « unfounded and discriminatory » in an op-ed published Thursday in the state-run Global Times newspaper, accusing the United States and its allies of attempting to « sabotaging China’s three-year Covid-19 control effort and attacking the country’s system. »

China had defended its tough virus controls, having maintained some of the world’s strictest zero-Covid policies for nearly three years, calling them necessary to save lives. It phased out restrictions this month following a spike in anti-lockdown protests.

Bloomberg claimed last week that up to 248 million people, or nearly 18% of China’s total population, had been infected with Covid-19 in December alone. The National Health Commission officially declared only 14,285 infections last week, along with seven deaths.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbi said on Wednesday that China « epidemic situation » has been « predictable and under control ».

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