Spain requests COVID-19 test from travelers from China

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

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darías, told reporters that Spain would promote similar measures at the European level after the increase in cases in the Asian country. She added that coronavirus health checks would be intensified at Spanish airports.

Darias did not 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 vowed on Thursday to continue talks to seek a common approach, but refrained from imposing restrictions.

“There is a shared concern at the international and national level for the evolution of infections in China, as well as for the difficulty of making a correct assessment of the COVID-19 situation given the scant information we currently have,” acknowledged the official.

Darias noted that China would lift travel restrictions as of January 8 and that there is likely to be a significant increase in people traveling abroad. He said the main concern was the possible emergence of new coronavirus variants and it was important to act fast.

The United States on Wednesday announced new COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers from China, joining some Asian nations that have announced restrictions. Japan began on Friday to require tests for passengers arriving from the neighboring country.

FOUNTAIN: With information from AP