On one particular flight that was a direct flight to City’s Malpensa Airport on Boxing Day 52 per cent of passengers tested positive in the test for Covid, la Repubblica says…
Officials have yet to make a statement on these figures, but in an announcement health minister Orazio Schillaci stated that he had mandated Covid-19 tests for all travellers who are coming from China and passing through Italy.
He stated that this was “essential to ensure monitoring and identification” for any possible new strains of the virus and to “protect the Italian populace”.
Italy was devastated by Covid in the initial outbreak in the year 2020. Northern Lombardy was close to Malpensa Airport – at one time becoming the centre of the virus following its spread from China.
The EU Foreign Affairs spokeswoman stated that although member states had agreed to eliminate Covid limitations on travelling earlier in the year and there was an agreement that, in the event of need they could be reinstated in a coordinated way.
She also stated that the BF7 Omicron variant, which is prevalent in China was also present in Europe but had not yet made it dominant.
The application process for passports for Chinese citizens who wish to travel internationally will be accepted on January 8 the country’s immigration officials have announced.
Travel websites have seen an increase in traffic and certain countries are worried about the spread of Covid.
“There are increasing concerns in the international community regarding the ongoing Covid-19 spikes in China and the absence of information that is clear, such as sequences of the genomes of viruses,” US officials said in a statement that was quoted by news media.
- China to reopen to the outside world in January
- Chinese crowds rush to make reservations for travel Covid rules are lifted
Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, later was accused by Western media and countries in the media of “hyping the hype” in the media and “distorting China’s Covid policy changes”.
He added that China believed that all nations’ Covid responses should be “science-based and proportionate” and should “not impact normal people-to-people interactions”.
Mr Wang has called for “joint initiatives to guarantee the safety of travel across borders, to ensure the stability of supply chains for industrial production around the world as well as encourage economic growth and recovery”.
The UK and Germany each have said they’re watching the situation with a keen eye however, they are not looking at any new restrictions for Chinese travellers.
A Downing Street spokesperson said the number of cases reported in Britain was “relatively very low”.
In the meantime, a German health ministry official stated that there was “no evidence that a potentially more harmful variant [of Covidhas been discovered”.
The exact number of deaths and daily cases in China is not known because authorities have stopped sharing the required information. According to reports, hospitals are overcrowded and that elderly patients are dying.
This week, Beijing reported about 4,000 new Covid infections every day and a few deaths.
Prior to the change in travel regulations individuals were advised against travelling to other countries. Outbound packages and group travel was prohibited according to marketing solution firm Dragon Trail International.
Within 30 minutes of the announcement on Monday that China’s borders will reopen and travel websites would be reopening, data from Trip.com which was mentioned by Chinese media – revealed that searches for destinations that are popular doubled over the previous year.
Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and South Korea were among the most visited destinations.
Separately, on Wednesday afternoon, Hong Kong’s mayor John Lee announced that his city would be scrapping the final of its Covid regulations almost immediately except for the requirement for wearing masks for face, which is still mandatory.
“The city has achieved an extremely high level of vaccination that creates an anti-epidemic wall,” Mr Lee told at a press conference.
The US is still requiring international travellers to provide evidence of having been immunized against Covid before getting into the country.
The official website of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggests that anyone who travels to the US is tested for the Covid test prior to departure and has the results on the side – but this isn’t a legally binding requirement.
In their announcement, the anonymous US officials said that they had been “following the advice and science of experts in public health” as well as “consulting with the partners”.
China’s relaxed travel rules – – the final part of China’s controversial Zero-Covid strategy comes after several weeks of protests that saw people marching on the streets in unheard-of protests against President Xi Jinping and his government.