Travel And Hospitality
More countries around the world are making visitors from China go through COVID testing. This is happening just days before China lifts its border controls and lets its people, who have been mostly stuck at home for the past three years, travel again.
China will no longer require inbound travellers to undergo quarantine beginning on Sunday, the latest dismantling of its "zero-COVID" regime that began last month following historic protests against a series of suffocating mass lockdowns.
But because of the sudden changes, most of China's 1.4 billion people have never been exposed to the virus before. This has caused an infection wave that is overtaking some hospitals, running out of medicine, and causing international alarm.
Greece, Germany, and Sweden joined more than a dozen other countries in requiring COVID testing of Chinese travellers after the World Health Organization stated that China's official virus data underreported the true extent of its outbreak.
Chinese officials and state media have taken a defiant stance. They have defended how the outbreak is being handled, downplayed how bad it is, and criticized the restrictions on Chinese citizens travelling abroad.
After years of pandemic restrictions, the global aviation industry has criticized the decision to require testing of Chinese travelers. After January 8, China will continue to require pre-departure testing for inbound travelers.