Canada and Australia join global crackdown on travelers from China

Canada and Australia joined the growing list of countries on Sunday requiring travelers from China to take a coronavirus test before boarding, nearly three years to the day since the first cases were reported in the city. Chinese from Wuhan.

Canberra has informed Beijing that from January 5, all air travelers arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau will be required to present a negative coronavirus test taken within two days of departure.

Canadian authorities have announced similar measures which will also come into force on January 5.

Australia and Canada join other countries including the US, UK, India, Japan, Spain and Israel in imposing tougher measures on Chinese travelers amid concerns about the lack of data on coronavirus infections in China and the possibility of new variants spreading, AP reports.

Governments that have announced new travel requirements cite what they say is a lack of transparent data from China, which has stopped reporting case numbers nationwide, even as the rest of the world is looking to move away from the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

The wave of global travel restrictions began as countries anticipated an increase in the number of Chinese visitors after Beijing announced that the mandatory quarantine for incoming passengers would end on January 8.

The country of 1.4 billion people narrowly defines coronavirus deaths and has only reported a handful since restrictions were largely lifted early last month, with an official toll of 5,246 since the start. of the pandemic.

Chinese state media called the restrictions “discriminatory”, while the EU health agency said on Thursday that additional measures for travelers from China were “unjustified”.

A passenger from China leaves a COVID-19 testing area at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, Sunday January 1, 2023. France says it will require negative COVID-19 tests from all passengers from China and urges French citizens to avoid non-essential travel to China. (AP/Aurelien Morissard)

GISAID, a public database based in Germany, observed that analysis of the latest genomic sequencing data shared by Chinese health authorities showed that the variants in China closely resemble those already circulating around the world.

Meanwhile, Morocco decided to ban all arrivals from China on Saturday, “to avoid a new wave of contamination in Morocco and all its consequences”.

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