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England to require negative COVID-19 test for arrivals from China

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The United Kingdom has said passengers arriving in England from China will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test before they board a flight.

This comes as several nations announced they would be screening travellers from China after cases surged following Beijing’s decision to relax its zero-COVID policy.

China has said it will fully reopen its borders on January 8.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, several countries, including the United States of America, France and India, have imposed testing.

England’s Department of Health and Social Care said people travelling from China on direct flights from January 5 will be asked to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test.

From January 8, the UK Health Security Agency will also launch surveillance, which will see a sample of passengers arriving from China tested for the virus as they arrive.

Health Secretary, Steve Barclay said the government was taking a ‘balanced and precautionary approach,’ adding that the measures were ‘temporary’ as officials assess the latest COVID-19 data.

The testing requirement only applies to people flying to English airports, with the government saying that while there are no direct flights from China to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, it is working with the devolved administrations to ensure the policy is applied UK-wide.

 

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