PARIS: France is the latest country which joined several other nations in demanding negative COVID-19 tests from travellers from China, Reuters reported.
France has made covid test results mandatory from travellers from China within 48 hours before departure, Reuters reported citing health and transport ministries.
All the flights coming from China, including the stopovers, must have a Covid test and the travellers need to wear masks.
From January 1, France will carry out random PCR Covid tests on some travellers coming from China as the mandatory testing will take “a little while,” according to Reuters.
The government also recommended that people with weak immune systems delay non-essential travel to China.
Having kept its borders all but shut for three years, imposing a “zero-covid” policy and strict testing, Beijing abruptly reversed course toward living with the virus on December 7, and infections have spread rapidly in recent weeks, as per Reuters.
Earlier today, the UK governmnet announced that travellers coming from China need to take Covid-19 pre-departure test.
“From 5 January, people flying from mainland China to England will be asked to take a COVID-19 pre-departure test,” the UK governmnet said in a statement.
Earlier, India made RT-PCR test mandatory for passengers coming from five countries including China.
In an interview with ANI, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “The RT-PCR test to be mandatory for international arrivals from China,
Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand. On arrival, if any passenger from these countries is found symptomatic or tests positive for Covid-19 infection, then he/she will be put under quarantine.”
Taking note of the rising cases of COVID globally, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday said that the Centre and States need to work in “tandem” and in a “collaborative spirit” as was done during the previous surges.
Meanwhile, Japan also imposed Mandatory testing for COVID-19 from December 30 upon arrival for travellers from China due to an increase in the number of confirmed cases there, the Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.
The measure applies to travellers from mainland China and those who visited it within the past seven days. They are required to take a COVID-19 test upon their arrival in Japan. Those who test positive will be quarantined for seven days. The Kyodo news agency said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the decision on Tuesday.
In November, China saw a record increase in local COVID-19 outbreaks. Due to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation, the authorities introduced partial lockdowns in some areas while also forcing their residents to undergo PCR testing on a daily basis.
In particular, starting from November 24, restrictive measures were tightened in a number of China’s major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Against this background, some Chinese cities — Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and others — were hit by mass protests. The rioters demanded the immediate lifting of lockdowns, the abolition of regular PCR testing, and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
In the last week, media reported that about 37 million people in China could have contracted COVID-19 on a single day last week, making the country’s outbreak the largest in the world.
It was noted that up to 248 million people, or nearly 18 per cent of the population, were likely to have contracted the coronavirus in the first 20 days of December.
The Embassy of Japan in Beijing has said that many employees of Japanese firms operating in China are getting infected with COVID-19 and are being asked to work from home, NHK World reported. (ANI)