Amid Surge In Cases, These Countries Have Reintroduced RT-PCR Tests For International Passengers

New Delhi: In light of the surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide, India has stepped up its precautions to curb the spread of the virus, making pre-flight RT-PCR testing mandatory for passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

“RT-PCR test has become mandatory for airmen arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand from January 1, 2023. They will have to upload their reports on the Air Suvidha portal before travel,” the Union minister said in a tweet.

Earlier, India required travelers from these countries to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test on arrival.

Apart from India, several other countries have also announced strict guidelines for international travelers.

Japan

According to reports, the Japanese government is set to reintroduce mandatory tests for Covid on travelers from China starting December 30, following the rise in cases in the country.

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Travelers from China and those who have visited the country in the last seven days will have to undergo a Covid test upon arrival in Japan and those found positive will be quarantined for seven days.

Taiwan

The government has stated that Taiwan will review entries from China from January 1.

According to Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center, all passengers arriving by direct flights from China or by boat to offshore islands will be required to pass the tests.

Health officials will also perform virus sequencing for those from China. However, these measures do not include those coming from Hong Kong or Macau.

United States

According to health officials, the US will require negative covid tests from all air travelers from China following an increase in the number of cases.

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Starting Jan. 5, “all flight passengers aged 2 years and older originating from China will be required to be screened no more than two days prior to departure from China, Hong Kong and Macau, and show a negative test result to airlines upon departure,” a health official said.

United Kingdom

According to a report in the Telegraph, officials from the Department for Transport, the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSC) are expected to decide on Thursday whether Britain should follow the United States and Italy in imposing Covid-19 restrictions on travelers from China.

Italy

Following an explosion in cases in China, Italy made it mandatory for travelers from the country to undergo Covid tests before arrival.

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“I have ordered mandatory Covid-19 antigen swabs, and related virus sequencing, for all passengers arriving from China and passing through Italy,” said Minister Orazio Schillaci.

Meanwhile, the northern Italian region of Lombardy has been showing filtering since Tuesday, a day before it was rolled out across the country.

In an attempt to identify new variants, swab samples collected in Malpensa are already being analyzed by the National Ministry of Health.

Philippines

The Philippines should be “extremely careful” when accepting inbound passengers from China, following the rise of Covid, the Philippine transport secretary said on Wednesday.

According to reports, the Southeast Asian country could impose measures such as screening requirements on travelers from China, Transportation Minister Jaime Bautista said.

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