Two flights from China to Italy saw passengers being subjected to new mandatory Covid testing after more than half of the passengers were positive for the virus.
On Wednesday the US became the fifth country to impose strict mandatory Covid testing on all Chinese travellers as Beijing are set to issue ordinary passports and visas as they move away from restrictions.
Hong Kong have also scrapped quarantine measures for those who do test positive and this combined with Beijing’s announcement means millions are free to travel overseas for the first time since 2020.
Guido Bertolaso, Lombardy regional councillor for welfare, told a news conference, “On the first flight, out of 92 passengers 35 (38%) are positive.
“On the second, out of 120 passengers 62 (52%) are positive.”
There are now global fears that Covid could spread again as China has introduced the zero Covid policy.
The British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said on Thursday that now China are allowing free travel again overseas travel is “under review.”
Wallace said this in response to a government spokesperson saying the UK has no plans to re-introduce mandatory Covid testing for those who arrive to Britain.
China has been in a lockdown of sorts for the past three years and now measures have been scrapped there are fears 1.4 billion people could now spread the virus again, which could see lockdown measures being introduced as the worst possible case scenario.
Wallace was asked if the UK government will consider restrictions for travellers from China, he said, “The government is looking at that, it’s under review, we noticed obviously what the United States has done and India and I think Italy has looked at it.
“We keep under review all the time, obviously, health threats to the United Kingdom, wherever they may be.
“I think the Department of Transport will take medical advice, talk to the Department of Health and they’ll come to some decisions depending on what we see coming out of China, but at the moment it’s under review.”
A government spokesperson previously said, “There are no plans to reintroduce Covid-19 testing or additional requirements for arrivals into the UK.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans should also reconsider travel to Hong Kong, China, Macau, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand
India, Japan, Italy, the US, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia will all be imposing mandatory Covid testing.
Australia, Phillipines and the UK are monitoring the situation of Covid spreading globally and could “cautiously” introduce measures, but as the British Defence Secretary said, this is “under review” in the UK.
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