China says new COVID testing requirements are discriminatory

China says new COVID testing requirements are discriminatory

BEIJING: Chinese state-media said that COVID 19 testing requirements imposed by several places around the world in response to a surge of infections were discriminatory in the clearest pushback against restrictions that are slowing down its re-opening.

Having kept its borders all but shut for three years and imposed a strict regime of lockdowns and relentless testing, China abruptly reversed course on December 7, and a wave of infections erupted across the country.

Some places have been taken aback by the scale of China's outbreak, and expressed scepticism over Beijing's COVID statistics, with the United States, South Korea, India, Italy, Japan and Taiwan imposing COVID 19 tests for travellers from China.

State-owned tabloid Global Times called the restrictions unfounded and discriminatory, and the real intention is to sabotage China's three years of COVID 19 control efforts and attack the country's system. From January 8th, China will stop requiring inbound travellers to go into quarantine. It will still need a negative PCR test result within 48 hours of departure.

Italy has urged the rest of the European Union to follow its lead, but France, Germany and Portugal said they saw no need for new travel restrictions, while Austria stressed the economic benefits of Chinese tourists return to Europe.