Spain to require travellers from China test negative for COVID or be fully vaccinated

Beijing Capital International Airport
Travellers wait with their luggage at Beijing Capital International Airport, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China December 27, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

MADRID, Dec 30 (Reuters) - People travelling from China to Spain will be required to test negative for COVID-19 or prove they have been fully vaccinated against the disease, Spain's top health official said on Friday.

Earlier this month, China began dismantling the world's strictest COVID regime of lockdowns and extensive testing in an abrupt change of policy.

"At a national level, we will implement airport controls requiring all passengers coming from China to show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of a full vaccination course," Health Minister Carolina Darias told reporters.

The new measure comes after the European Union's Health Security Committee met on Thursday to discuss the bloc's common strategy to mitigate the spread of the virus with the influx of visitors from China after the Asian country lifted most of its travel restrictions.

Darias added that Spain would coordinate at a high level with other member countries to adopt a common policy, while pushing for a revision of the current conditions that need to be met by travellers seeking to obtain the EU's so-called Digital COVID Certificate.

Earlier, countries such as Italy, South Korea, the United States, India and Japan have imposed mandatory testing for visitors from China.

Chinese state media said on Friday the testing requirements imposed around the world in response to a surging wave of infections were "discriminatory".

Reporting by David Latona; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Andrei Khalip

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