The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced this Friday, in view of the high transmission of the coronavirus in China, that passengers coming from the Asian country will be asked to have a negative Covid-19 test or, failing that, the full vaccination schedule.
Several countries will ask for PCR tests for travellers coming from China.
The People’s Republic of China announced this week the first measures to relax restrictions on covid-19. However, the international community is already concerned about the sudden increase in cases in the Asian giant and the lack of transparency in the data provided.
The Asian giant has announced that it will relax covid measures and several countries have begun to prepare cautiously. Japan, Taiwan and the United States have already announced that they will require PCR tests for travellers from China.
Chinese authorities indicated on Monday that they will waive quarantine requirements for those entering the country from 8 January, which is expected to encourage many Chinese to travel abroad after nearly three years of severe restrictions.
While Chinese tourism is a boon to other economies, some neighbouring countries fear the arrival of tourists infected with covid-19. Philippines Transport Minister Jaime Bautista announced this week that his country is considering imposing a PCR test on arrival for travellers from China.
“We have to be very careful with Chinese travellers coming to the Philippines,” Bautista told reporters, according to GMA.
On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that from December 30, Japanese authorities will require a PCR test for all travellers from China upon landing. If positive, a seven-day quarantine will be enforced.
“Concern has increased in Japan as it is difficult to understand the true extent of the situation,” Kishida was quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency regarding the true circulation of the virus in the neighbouring country, where authorities have recently shut down street PCR testing centres.
Taiwan also announced PCR testing of travellers from China from 1 January in response to the increase in covid cases in the Asian giant, and those who test positive will be allowed to isolate themselves at home for five days.
The measure will come into effect ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, which in 2023 will fall between 21 and 27 January and when millions of people are likely to travel in Taiwan and China.
Lack of viral genome sequence data
The United States is also concerned and its government is considering restrictions on travellers from China.
“There is growing concern in the international community about the ongoing covid-19 surges in China and the lack of transparent data, including viral genomic sequence data, being reported from the People’s Republic of China,” US officials told ABC News.
The World Health Organisation, Japan, India and Malaysia have also expressed concern about the situation in China, officials consulted by the network said.