Italy’s decision to take extra precautions with Chinese travelers paid off on Wednesday as two flights from China landed in Milan and half of the passengers tested positive for Covid-19.
Italy was one of four countries that announced they would impose coronavirus restrictions on Chinese travelers because a massive vague of coronavirus infections is tearing across China, racking up millions of cases in a single day – but the tyrannical Chinese government has decided to abandon almost all of its disease control protocols with almost no preparation for the consequences, relax travel restrictions and start delivery our passports just in time for the Lunar New Year holiday.
A massive peak In China, internet searches for travel reservations and vacation packages took place on Tuesday as international travel suddenly became available after years of travel bans and citywide shutdowns.
Italy was one of four countries to correctly infer that China would not be doing a very thorough job of screening its outbound passengers for the highly contagious, vaccine-resistant virus. Omicron sub-variant stump which has spread like wildfire through the vast and vulnerable Chinese population.
Other countries to quickly announce precautionary measures are Japan, India and Taiwan. In addition to mandatory coronavirus testing, Japan is severely limiting flights from China, funneling all Chinese passengers to four airports. Flights from China to Japan were nevertheless described as “sold out” by the South China Morning Post Wednesday.
Italy subjected its two planes loaded with inbound Chinese passengers that landed in Milan on Wednesday to mandatory tests, and the results were not good.
“On the first flight, out of 92 passengers, 35 (38%) are positive. On the second, out of 120 passengers, 62 (52%) are positive,” said Lombardy Regional Councilor for Welfare Guido Bertolaso at a press conference, while cited by Sky News.
Orazio Schillaci, Italian Minister of Health said the mandatory tests for Chinese travelers are “essential to ensure the surveillance and detection of possible variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population”.
“Travel services companies Trip.com and Qunar said international ticket bookings and searches for visa information on their websites increased five to eight times after the announcement. Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, Britain and Australia,” Sky News reported, fearing a “haunting repeat” of the 2020 global pandemic.
United States became the fifth country to impose special restrictions on Chinese travelers on Wednesday evening, requiring negative Covid test results for travelers aged two and over from January 5. US health officials have cited China’s lack of reliable data as one of the reasons for its travel policy.