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India, US, Japan: Countries impose travel rules after China’s Covid-19 surge


After months of lull, Covid-19 protocols are back in some countries in light of the new wave of the pandemic in China. Since early December 2022, the new Covid-19 variant, BF 7, has caused a spike in cases in China and in other countries including the US, Brazil, South Korea and Japan.

In light of this, some countries have resumed testing passengers at airports, especially those from China, to curb further spread of infection.

The BBC reported that China reported nearly 5,000 cases a day last week, but experts believe the real number could be higher. Hospitals in major cities have also reported large numbers of patients.

While countries such as India, the UK, Japan and Italy have made screening of travelers from China mandatory, the US implemented Covid-19 testing rules for travelers from China on Dec. 29. At least 12 countries have issued guidance for travelers from China.

In light of the surge in Covid-19 cases, the following countries have issued new guidelines for international travellers:

India

India has made mandatory RT-PCR testing for passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Starting this week, international travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore may have to undergo a 72-hour pre-RT-PCR test, Accor reported.

“On arrival, if any passenger from these countries is found to be symptomatic or tested positive for Covid-19 infection, then he/she will be quarantined,” union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

Meanwhile, the government warned on Wednesday that cases in India could spike in January.

U.S.

Passengers from China, Hong Kong and Macau will need to show a negative Covid test starting January 5 under the new US Covid-19 regulations. A rapid or RT-PCR test should be done 48 hours before departure, according to the BBC.

The CDC said the testing rules apply to all air travelers over the age of two, regardless of nationality and vaccination status. “This will also apply to those traveling from China via third-country transit, as well as passengers transiting through the United States to further destinations,” the CDCS said on Thursday.

In addition, passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before their flight will need to present a negative test report.

European Union

From January 5th, passengers from China will need to present a negative result of a PCR test or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours before departure. Agence France-Presse reported. Italy and Spain have also implemented Covid testing requirements. Agence France-Presse quoted Sweden, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, as saying it was seeking a common EU-wide policy to introduce entry restrictions.

Australia

People traveling from China are required to take a Covid-19 test 48 hours before scheduled departure. “Passengers should be prepared to provide evidence of a negative test before boarding and may be required to provide evidence of a negative test again upon arrival in Australia,” the Australian government said. New Covid-19 rules to come in from 5 January 2023 implement.

Canada

Canada has also announced testing rules for people from China starting January 5, 2023. Passengers over the age of two are required to undergo a Covid-19 test 48 hours before scheduled departure. “Passengers who test positive more than 10 days but no more than 90 days before departure may provide the airline with documentation of their previous positive test in lieu of a negative test result,” the Canadian government said in a statement, December 31, 2022 day.

It said the new guidelines were temporary and would be in place for 30 days. “They are temporary measures, in place for 30 days and will be reassessed as more data and evidence becomes available,” the statement said.

U.K.

From January 5, all travelers traveling from China to the UK will have to submit a negative test before boarding a flight. The British government also said it would test “arriving samples” to monitor new variants, AFP reported.

The BBC quoted British Health Secretary Steve Barclay as saying the measures were “temporary”.

Japan

Japan issued its Covid-19 guidance for people traveling from China on Dec. 28, which said all travelers who had stayed in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within seven days of entry on a direct flight must The test will be conducted on December 30, 2022.

Those who test positive will be sent to an isolation center for seven days, AFP reported.



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