China criticises ‘unacceptable’ new Covid rules for passengers flying in from territory

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Beijing has slammed the recent decisions of 12 countries requiring passengers flying in from China to have a negative Covid test 48 hours before thier flight.

“We believe that the entry restrictions adopted by some countries targeting China lack scientific basis, and some excessive practices are even more unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a daily briefing on Tuesday.

“We are firmly opposed to attempts to manipulate the Covid measures for political purposes and will take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity,” she said. 

Italy, France, the United States and Japan are among those implementing the testing requirement.

However Germany has said it would not impose a test rule but  instead would seek a coordinated system to monitor variants across European airports.

The decisions were taken as a result of the explosion in the number of cases in China following the abrupt reversal of the country’s zero Covid policy.

Following the repeal, hospitals across China, including Shanghai, are seeing a large increase in the number of Covid patients.

Countries like the US have justified their decision, citing China’s lack of infection data transparency and new variant risks as a reason for imposing the mandatory testing.

EU countries will be meeting on the 4th January to discuss joint Covid responses.