Canada and Australia impose COVID testing requirements on travelers from China : NPR
Ng Han Guan/AP
BEIJING — Australia and Canada have joined a growing list of countries that require travelers from China to take a COVID-19 test before boarding their flights, like China fighting a nationwide outbreak coronavirus after abrupt easing of restrictions that had been in place for much of the pandemic.
Australian health authorities said on Sunday that from January 5, all air travelers from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao will have to present a negative test result for COVID-19 to be eligible for COVID-19 treatment. made within two days of departure.
Canadian authorities announced similar measures that will also go into effect on January 5 in a statement on Saturday.
Australia and Canada join other countries including AmericaUK, India, Japan and some European countries in imposing tougher COVID-19 measures on Chinese travelers amid concerns about lack of data on infections in China and concerns about the possibility that new variants could spread.
China, which for much of the pandemic has adopted a “no COVID” strategy of imposing harsh restrictions to stamp out the virus, abruptly relaxed those measures in December. China previously said that from January 8, foreign visitors will not need to be quarantined upon arrival in China, paving the way for Chinese residents to travel.
Hong Kong is also gearing up for non-quarantine travel to China, with plans to resume operations of many border checkpoints as early as January 8, according to a Facebook post by Chief of Staff. Eric Chan Hong Kong Room.
However, there is still a quota that limits the number of tourists between the two places.
“Depending on the initial stage of the situation, we will gradually scale up to fully reopen the border,” Chan said.
In China, easing restrictions mean people can celebrate the new year in large-scale gatherings that were banned for much of the pandemic, even though the country is going through a tough time. a large outbreak of cases.
“More or less there are still some worries,” said Wu Yanxia, 51, a Beijing resident who works at a logistics company. “I hope that next year everything will be normal, such as domestic travel.”
Others hope that 2023 will bring better things after a rough year.
“We have had a very rough year, especially unforgettable, with many things beyond our imagination,” said Li Feng, a teacher in Beijing, adding that 2022 will be a difficult year. for both the people and the government.
“But I think we made it through and everything will be fine,” Li said. “We will all get better and better in both work and life.”