From January 5, travelers from China to Australia must test negative for Covid-19 before departure, and New Zealand says it is now assessing the health risks.
China has seen the number of Covid cases skyrocket, and a range of other countries, including the UK, the United States and France, have also implemented testing requirements.
NZ Government Duty Minister Stuart Nash tonight said New Zealand was currently assessing the situation.
“I have been informed today that Australia has announced pre-departure testing for travelers from China. The move is in response to the rapidly unfolding situation in China.
“A public health risk assessment is underway in New Zealand which will be completed in the next 24 hours.
“Our response will be proportionate to the potential risks to passengers and the international situation.”
The Ministry of Health said last week that New Zealand had to date said it had no plans to introduce tests for Chinese visitors.
Australia’s Health Minister Mark Butler said the decision was taken out of “an abundance of caution” and a temporary measure, given the lack of detailed information about the pandemic situation in China.
“The lack of comprehensive information has led several countries to take various measures in recent days – not to restrict travel from China, it must be said – but to understand what is happening in that country in terms of the pandemic. to gather better information about,” he said. said.
Butler said the government warmly welcomes visitors from China, and Australia is “in a good position right now in the fight against Covid”.
He said there was no immediate public health risk to Australians from the resumption of travel between China and Australia.
Butler said universities and the tourism industry would also welcome a resumption of travel from China, as would people who have been separated from family and friends for long periods of time.
“We know that there are many millions of Chinese Australians who have been unable to see family and friends for months – and in some cases, years – and their ability to do so in the near future will be a source of great joy. So, especially as we head into the Lunar New Year period,” he said.
Butler said that, although the subspecies driving the wave in China were already present in Australia, the situation was “developing very quickly”.
“There are concerns about the possibility of a new strain emerging, in such a rapidly expanding case environment,” he said.
“There is no evidence of that now.
“This is a very careful step taken to provide Australians and the Australian government with the best possible information about the rapidly evolving situation.”
Butler said the Chinese government was informed of the measures this morning.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise to the Chinese government that Australia is putting this arrangement in place, I don’t think so given the wide range of countries that have taken similar measures in the last 48 to 72 hours,” he said. have done.” .
COUNTRIES THAT ARE NOW IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON CHINESE VISITORS AS OF JANUARY 1ST
United States: The United States will implement mandatory Covid-19 testing on travelers from China starting January 5. All air travelers aged two or older will need a negative test result two days before departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said that US citizens should also reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.
UK: The UK will require a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test from travelers arriving from China by January 5, the Department of Health said on Friday.
France: France will require travelers from China to provide a negative Covid test result less than 48 hours before departure, the Ministry of Health and Transport said on Friday. A government official told reporters that from January 1, France will also conduct random PCR Covid tests on the arrival of some travelers from China.
Australia: Travelers from China to Australia will be required to submit a negative Covid-19 test from January 5, Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said on Sunday, as cases in China rise as other nations impose similar restrictions. join
India: The country has made a negative Covid-19 test report mandatory for travelers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, the health minister said. Travelers from these countries will be quarantined if they show symptoms or test positive.
Canada: Air travelers from China to Canada must test negative for Covid-19 two days before departure, Ottawa said on Saturday, joining other nations that have imposed such restrictions.
Japan: Japan will require a negative Covid-19 test for travelers arriving from mainland China. Those who come positive will have to stay in quarantine for seven days. The new border measures for China took effect at midnight on December 30. The government will also limit requests by airlines to increase flights to China.
Italy: Italy has ordered Covid-19 antigen swabs and virus screening for all travelers arriving from China. Milan’s main airport, Malpensa, had already started screening passengers arriving from Beijing and Shanghai. Health Minister Orazio Schalci said the move was necessary to ensure surveillance and detection of potential strains of the virus to protect the Italian population.
Spain: Spain will require a negative Covid-19 test or a full course of vaccination against the disease upon arrival from China, the country’s Health Minister Carolina Darias said.
Malaysia: Malaysia will screen all inbound passengers for fever and test sewage from planes arriving from China for Covid-19, Minister Zaliha Mustafa said in a statement.
Taiwan: Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center said all passengers arriving on direct flights from China as well as by boat to the two offshore islands will be required to undergo PCR tests on arrival from January 1.
South Korea: South Korea will require travelers from China to provide negative Covid test results before departure, South Korea’s News1 news agency reported on Friday.
Morocco: Morocco will impose a ban on people arriving from China from January 3, regardless of nationality, to prevent any new wave of coronavirus infections, the foreign ministry said on Saturday.