Which countries have placed COVID curbs on travellers from China?

Governments cite a lack of information from Beijing on variants as they express concerns over a new wave of infections.

Governments around the world have imposed or considering restrictions on travellers from China as coronavirus cases in the country surge following its relaxation of “zero-COVID” rules.

Countries have cited a lack of information from China on variants and are concerned about a wave of infections. The World Health Organization has called the precautionary measures “understandable” in light of the lack of information and urged Beijing to share more data on genetic sequencing, as well as figures on hospitalisations, deaths and vaccinations.

China has rejected criticism of its COVID-19 data and said it expects future mutations to be potentially more transmissible but less severe.

Here is a list of countries that have imposed restrictions on travellers from China:

United States

The US will impose mandatory COVID-19 tests on travellers from China beginning January 5. All air passengers aged two and older will require a negative result from a test no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said US citizens should also reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau.

United Kingdom

The UK will require a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test from passengers from China as of January 5, the Department of Health said on Friday.


France will require travellers from China to provide a negative COVID test result less than 48 hours before departure. Since January 1, France is also carrying out random PCR COVID tests upon arrival on some travellers coming from China, a government official told reporters.

The French government has also urged all 26 other European Union member states to test Chinese travellers for COVID.

Airport staff wait from passengers coming from China in front of a COVID-19 testing area set at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023
Airport staff wait for passengers coming from China in front of a COVID-19 testing area set at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris [Aurelien Morissard/AP Photo]


Those travelling from China to Australia will need to submit a negative COVID-19 test from January 5, Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said on Sunday.

Butler cited Beijing’s “lack of comprehensive information” about COVID-19 cases as the reasoning behind the travel requirement.


China’s South Asian neighbour has mandated a COVID-19 negative report for travellers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Passengers from those countries will be quarantined if they show symptoms or test positive.


Air travellers to Canada from China must test negative for COVID-19 no more than two days before departure, authorities in Ottawa said.


Japan requires a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival for travellers from mainland China. Those who test positive will be required to quarantine for seven days.

The new border measures for China went into effect at midnight on December 30. The government will also limit requests from airlines to increase flights to China.

Masked travellers check their passports as they line up at the international flight check in counter at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Thursday
Masked travellers check their passports as they line up at the international flight check-in counter at the Beijing Capital International Airport [File: Andy Wong/AP Photo]


Italy has ordered COVID-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travellers from China. Milan’s main airport, Malpensa, had already started testing passengers arriving from Beijing and Shanghai.


Spain says it will require a negative COVID-19 test or a full course of vaccination against the disease upon arrival of travellers from China.


Malaysia will screen all inbound travellers for fever and test wastewater from aircraft arriving from China for COVID-19.


Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center said all passengers on direct flights from China, as well as by boat at two offshore islands, will have to take PCR tests upon arrival, starting on January 1.

South Korea

South Korea will require travellers from China to provide negative COVID test results before departure, South Korea’s News1 news agency reported.


Morocco will impose a ban on people arriving from China from January 3, whatever their nationality, citing the need to avoid “a new wave of contaminations” and “all its consequences”.


Qatar will require travellers arriving from China from January 3 to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of departure, state news agency QNA said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies