Spain to require COVID-19 tests for passengers from China

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By Associated Press
Passengers carry luggage at the Barcelona airport, Spain, on July 9, 2021.
Passengers carry luggage at the Barcelona airport, Spain, on July 9, 2021.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Joan Mateu

Spain will require all air passengers coming from China to have negative COVID-19 tests or proof of vaccination, the government said Friday.

Health Minister Carolina Darías told reporters that Spain would be pushing for similar measures at a European level following the surge in cases in China. She said coronavirus health controls would be stepped up at Spanish airports.

Darías didn't specify when the new requirement will take effect.

Spain made the announcement after Italy said it would require coronavirus tests for airline passengers from China. Health officials from the 27-member European Union on Thursday promised to continue talks on seeking a common approach but held back from imposing restrictions.

“There exists a shared concern internationally and nationally over the evolution of cases in China and the difficulty to make a correct evaluation of the COVID-19 situation given the scant information that we have available,” Darías said.

Darías noted that China would be lifting travel restrictions from Jan. 8 and there was likely to be a major increase in people travelling abroad. She said the chief concern was the possible emergence of new coronavirus variants and it was important to act fast.

The United States announced new COVID-19 testing requirements Wednesday for travellers from China, joining some Asian nations that had imposed restrictions. Japan on Friday started requiring tests for passengers arriving from China.