Spain requires COVID-19 testing for passengers from China

MADRID (AP) — Spain will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination for all air passengers arriving from China, the Spanish government said Friday.

Health Minister Carolina Darias told reporters that Spain would push for similar measures at European level as cases surged in China. Spanish airports will step up coronavirus health controls, she said.

Darias did not specify when the new requirements would take effect.

Spain’s announcement came after Italy said it would require coronavirus testing for air passengers arriving from China. Health officials from the 27 EU member states pledged on Thursday to continue negotiations on finding a common approach, but did not impose restrictions.

“There is a shared international and domestic concern about the evolution of cases in China and the difficulty of making a proper assessment of the COVID-19 situation given the insufficient information we have,” Darias said.

Darias pointed out that China will lift travel restrictions from January 8, and the number of people traveling abroad may increase significantly. She said the main concern was the possible emergence of new variants of the coronavirus and it was important to act quickly.

The United States announced new COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers from China on Wednesday, joining some Asian countries that have imposed restrictions. Japan began requiring testing of passengers arriving from China on Friday.

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