Paris: France, Spain and Israel have become the latest to join a growing list of countries, including India, to tighten restrictions against travellers from China in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 resurgence in the Asian giant.
In a statement on Friday, the French government said passengers flying from China would have to present a negative Covid-19 test less than 48 hours old before departure, the BBC reported.
Without specifying a date, the French Health and Transport Ministries said the government would publish a decree and notify European Union (EU) member states.
Meanwhile, Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias said that “at the national level, we will implement controls at airports and require travellers from China to present a negative Covid test or be fully vaccinated”.
Israel has ordered foreign airlines not to allow people to travel from China unless they have tested negative, and asked its own citizens to avoid unnecessary travel there.
Also on Friday, the UK and South Korea announced new testing rules, while the US and India have already imposed restrictions.
Not all countries have announced controls, the BBC reported.
Germany has joined Australia, France, and Portugal in saying there will be no new rules yet.
However, Germany’s Health Minister has said the country is seeking a co-ordinated system to monitor variants across European airports.
The developments come after China announced it would ease its restrictions on travel to and from the country for the first time after almost three years of restrictions, the BBC reported.
From January 8, 2023, quarantine for travellers entering China will end, and passport applications for Chinese citizens will resume.
Meanwhile, the actual toll of daily cases and deaths in China is unknown because officials have stopped releasing the data.
Media reports have said that hospitals are overwhelmed and elderly people are dying.