Italy, Spain and South Korea follow US, tighten entry requirements of airline passengers from China

Spain announced earlier that travelers from China will have to test negative for COVID or prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID19

Updated: December 30, 2022 - 1:11pm

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Spain, South Korea Italy are following United States in tightening entry requirements for airline passengers arriving from China due to the country's protracted COVID-19 outbreak. 

Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced air traveler from China will in the coming days have to present a negative COVID test to gain entry into the U.S. 

The order was follows by Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias saying her country will work with the European Union to adopt a uniform policy among members. 

South Korea Prime Minister Han Duck-soo says hi country will adopt a policy similar to that of United States.

"We need to urgently prepare for any domestic ripple effects following China’s easing of quarantine rules," Han said. "We will prepare to take stronger measures in case the situation gets worse, if we see a rapid increase of infections from new arrivals or appearance of new variants."

China, where in December 2019 the first cases of COVID were detected, in recent months essentially ordered a lockdown in major cities where case loads are the highest, to try to bring the spread under control. But a few weeks ago, government officials lifted the austere restrictions amid public backlash. 

There caseload number do not appear to have since dropped, with some health officials around the world uncertain about whether the ruling Chinese Communist Party has disclosed the extent of the outbreak.

Starting Jan. 5, South Korea will be restricting the issuing of short-term visas for Chinese nationals until the end of January and temporarily halt  flights from China, Han Duck-soo said. 

Italy has been urging the European Union to test travelers coming from China. 

Italy "expects and hopes" that the EU will impose mandatory COVID tests for all passengers flying in from China like Rome did, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said during a news conference.