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December 30, 2022 10:01 am

COVID-19: Israel Imposing Travel Restrictions on Visitors From China Amid Surge in Cases

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Travellers exit the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic testing area at Ben Gurion International Airport as Israel imposes new restrictions near Tel Aviv, Israel November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

i24News – Israel announced on Friday that it would be imposing travel restrictions on visitors arriving from China, where a surge of coronavirus cases has struck the east Asian country following the relaxing of its zero-coronavirus policy.

Foreign airlines will require foreign citizens flying from China to Israel to be tested for the virus. Also, voluntary sampling stations will be established for Israelis and foreign citizens, new Health Minister Aryeh Deri said.

In doing so, Israel joins other countries adding travel rules for flights from China amid concern about the spread of a new variant of the disease. Spain on Friday became the second European country to impose travel restrictions on arrivals from China — to enter the country, passengers will need to have a negative COVID-19 test result or be fully vaccinated. Spain follows Italy’s announcement earlier this week to conduct mandatory testing. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that so far no new variants were detected among passengers arriving from China.

The European Union’s health agency called the introduction of mandatory coronavirus screenings for travelers from China “unjustified.”

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Other countries outside of Europe and Israel deciding to implement new rules for arrivals from China include the United States, Japan, India, Taiwan and South Korea.

New COVID-19 cases soared in China during December, with almost 250 million people in China infected with COVID-19 in the first 20 days of the month. Beijing as part of its loosening of restrictions after nearly three years said it would scrap mandatory Covid quarantine for overseas arrivals from January 8, prompting many in China to rush to plan trips abroad.

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