More countries make COVID-19 tests mandatory for visitors from China while Singapore “maintain its prevailing Covid-19 rules”

More countries make COVID-19 tests mandatory for visitors from China while Singapore “maintain its prevailing Covid-19 rules”

Several countries have made decisions to tighten border controls by requiring COVID-19 negative tests for all visitors from China, worried that new variants might emerge from China’s continuing outbreak of COVID cases.

Currently countries including United States, Japan, Italy and India had announced that all travellers from China must provide a negative Covid-19 test to enter their countries.

Taiwan authorities are also requiring travelers from China to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Taiwan, starting on 1 January.

China has dropped its zero-COVID policy and the sudden change has spurred China’s largest outbreak of COVID infections since the start of the pandemic.

Some 37 million people may have contracted COVID-19 in China on 20 December alone, and as many as 248 million people — nearly 18 per cent of China’s population — came down with the virus in the first 20 days of December.

Health experts had warned that surging COVID-19 cases in China could create a “potential breeding ground” for new variants to emerge.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said the organisation was “very concerned” about the evolving Covid-19 situation in China, with “increasing reports of severe disease”.

Half of people on 2 flights from China to Italy infected with COVID

On Wednesday (28 Dec), Bloomberg reported that the Italian authorities have found almost half of the passengers on two flights at Milan Malpensa Airport from China, were infected with COVID-19.

On the first flight, 35 out of 92 passengers tested positive for the virus, while on the second, 62 passengers out of 120 were infected, according to Lombardy region’s health chief Guido Bertolaso.

As a result, Italy’s Health Minister announced that all passengers from China and in transit through Italy will be tested for COVID-19 on arrival.

Japan said COVID-positive China visitors would be quarantined for seven days

on Tuesday(27 Dec), Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that travelers from China or those who have been in China within the previous seven days would be subject to a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Those who test positive would be quarantined for seven days.

The government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China, he said.

India tightening border control measures

Following Italy, India health minister had announced yesterday (29 Dec) that India will make a RT-PCR negative test mandatory for travellers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand, starting from 1 January.

Malaysia govt urged to impose stricter travel requirements for visitors from China

Malaysia Health Ministry said preparing to put additional tracking and surveillance measures following China’s surge in COVID cases.

Malaysian Medical Association had proposed to government to allow only fully vaccinated travellers from China with negative PCR test results be allowed entry into Malaysia.

Philippine called for tightening COVID-19 measures

On Wednesday, Philippine Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the country “should be very cautious” in accepting inbound travelers from China.

He proposing RT-PCR testing upon arrival from these travelers, “We will look at what other countries are doing… Other ASEAN countries are also cautious in accepting Chinese visitors,”

Singapore maintain its prevailing Covid-19 rules toward visitors from China

In a statement on Wednesday (28 Dec), Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said that the country will maintain its prevailing Covid-19 rules towards incoming travellers from China as it prepares to reopen its borders from 8 January 2023.

MOH states that the prevailing border measures and vaccination requirements for travellers and work pass holders arriving from China remain unchanged.

It added that it is closely monitoring the international Covid-19 situation, and will adjust its border health measures as appropriate should the need arise.

The travellers just need to show proof of vaccination.
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