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Beijing has condemned the travel restrictions imposed on China by many countries

Posted by on 2023/01/05. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The Chinese government on Tuesday denounced the coronavirus testing requirements imposed by other countries on travelers from China as unscientific or “excessive” and threatened countermeasures.

As China prepares to open its borders later this week to allow citizens to travel abroad for the first time since the outbreak began, countries including Canada, the United States, France, Spain, Japan and the United Kingdom have moved to restrict travelers from China.

These countries have expressed concern about the surge in COVID-19 infections in China, the possibility that the outbreak could lead to the emergence of mutated strains, and what they see as the Chinese government’s reluctance to share coronavirus data with other countries. Restrictions include requiring negative results on arrival or mandatory testing.

In response, Chinese officials accused those countries of imposing restrictions for political reasons, requiring only Chinese travelers.

Even after China eases travel restrictions, the government will still require incoming passengers to show negative nucleic acid results taken less than 48 hours before departure.

However, many health experts say travel restrictions will not prevent new strains of the virus from emerging — as earlier international travel bans did little to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

China is dealing with a surge in COVID-19 cases after abruptly abandoning the “zero clearance” policy that has helped keep the virus at its borders for the past three years. In December last year, the government lifted the requirement for regular mass nucleic acid testing, as well as the lockdown and strict quarantine policy for positive patients and close contacts.

On Sunday, the government will lift quarantine rules for tourists from abroad and ease restrictions on inbound flights. This is the first time since the novel coronavirus first appeared in China in early 2020.
The government has also restarted passport applications for Chinese citizens to travel abroad. Data from travel booking company Ctrip showed that outbound flight bookings surged nearly 300 percent on Dec 27, when the government announced changes to border restrictions and many people began planning to visit family and travel abroad.

Now, many countries that long relied on Chinese tourists before the pandemic are struggling to find a balance between the economic promise of large numbers of Chinese tourists and health concerns about the outbreak in China.

The Health security committee, made up of officials from EU countries, has been the EU’s main source of advice on travel policy in the coronavirus era. A senior EU official said on Twitter that the commission decided on Tuesday that it would be wise to test travelers from China before they boarded flights to Europe.

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