China slams Covid restrictions on its citizens travelling abroad, warns of 'countermeasures'

Chinese spokesperson Mao further warned that China could "take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity".

IANSUpdated: Tuesday, January 03, 2023, 02:53 PM IST
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Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning. |

The Chinese government on Tuesday slammed restrictions on its citizens travelling abroad imposed by several countries in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, and also warned of "countermeasures".

Restrictions lack scientific basis, can take countermeasures: Chinese Foreign Ministry

Addressing reporters here, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that the "entry restrictions targeting only Chinese travellers" imposed by some countries "lacks scientific basis and some practices are unacceptable".

Mao further warned China could "take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity".

Several countries, including India and the US, have imposed pre-departure Covid test requirements on people travelling from China and its surrounding regions.

India mandates RT-PCR for travelers coming from China, other countries

On Monday, India issued revised guidelines for international air passengers arriving from China, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan, mandating an RT-PCR test to be conducted within 72 hours before departure.

This will also apply to transiting passengers through the countries irrespective of their originating countries before coming to any Indian airport.

US imposes similar restrictions

Last week, the US' Department of Health announced that from 12.01 a.m. on January 5, 2023, all passengers travelling from China, Hong Kong and Macau would need a negative Covid test to enter the country in order to "slow the spread" of the virus,.

The tests can be either an RT-PCR or an antigen self-test administered through a telehealth service, the Department said, adding that the travellers would need to take a test no more than two days before departure.

Countries announce precautionary curbs after infections spike in China

Some of the other countries that have taken similar measures include the UK, South Korea, France, Spain and Israel.

The developments come after China announced it would ease its curbs on travel to and from the country for the first time after almost three years of restrictions.

From January 8, quarantine for travellers entering China will end, and passport applications for Chinese citizens will resume.

Meanwhile, the actual toll of daily cases and deaths in China is unknown because officials have stopped releasing the data.

Media reports have said that hospitals are overwhelmed and elderly people are dying.

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