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US imposes mandatory Covid testing on Chinese visitors

The United States has made it mandatory for travelers from China to show a negative Covid-19 test result before boarding a flight to the country.

The moved followed Beijing’s announcement that it would reopen its borders next week.

Prior to this move, the US had noted on Wednesday that insufficient data on COVID in China necessitated the decision to require Covid tests for visitors entering the country from China, Hong Kong, and Macau beginning on January 5.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the test has become critical in slowing the spread of the virus and work to identify any new variants that may appear

Travelers to the United States who arrive directly from China or who were in the country 10 days prior to their departure will now be required to show either a negative PCR or antigen test for the coronavirus, according to federal health officials on Wednesday.

CHINA REACTION

Meanwhile, a spokesman at China’s Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, said Covid measures in all countries should be science-based and appropriate, and not impact normal people-to-people exchange.

Italy, the first European country to be hit hard by Covid in early 2020, is urging other nations in the region to adopt a collective testing agreement, given that they are part of the open-border Schengen Area. 

However, the European Union’s Health Security Committee will meet on Thursday to discuss the Covid situation in China and “possible measures to be taken in a coordinated way,” it said in a Twitter post.

The UK, Australia and Germany haven’t yet introduced any new restrictions on travelers from China, although they are monitoring developments closely. 

Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Tersoo Nicholas & Editing by Julian Osamoto