Spain follows Italy in imposing Covid tests for China arrivals

Madrid/Rome, Dec 30 (EFE).- Spain on Friday became the second European Union country to require travelers from China to present a negative Covid test or a vaccination certificate at airports.

Italy had announced similar measures on Wednesday in response to surging coronavirus infection rates in China, which this month lifted tough pandemic restrictions – a policy known as ‘zero Covid’ – that had been in place for nearly three years.

Several other countries, including the United States and India, have also started requiring passengers from China to present negative tests or proof of vaccination upon arrival.

Italian vice president and infrastructure minister, the far-right Matteo Salvini, on Friday urged the EU to act to stem the arrival of new Covid-19 variants, echoing a similar call a day earlier by prime minister Giorgia Meloni, but the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has said such measures are “unjustified”.

Spanish health minister Carolina Darias said it was important for the EU to act with “coordination and speed” with regard to screening passengers arriving from China, stressing that the “main concern” was the potential of new variants.

Darias highlighted that Beijing will lift its pandemic restrictions for travelers from January 8, after which a “significant” increase of passengers from China is expected.

The director of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that it is “understandable” that countries are acting “in ways that they believe may protect their populations” given the “absence of comprehensive information from China,” which recently stopped issuing daily infection reports. EFE


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