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Chinese officials slammed countries that began to impose Covid-19 screenings on travelers from China, as Beijing is handling a surge of coronavirus cases after dropping its controversial “zero-Covid” strategy late last year, Politico reported Tuesday.
Chinese Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning said the entry restrictions had “no scientific basis, and some practices are unacceptable.” She added that the government could “take countermeasures, following the reciprocity principle.”
Ning’s criticism comes days after the United States and a number of European Union nations imposed measures on individuals traveling from China by plane.
The measures include submitting to being tested upon arrival or presenting a negative antigen or PCR test taken fewer than two days before boarding.
The moves came as China’s ditching of its strict anti-coronavirus strategy has sparked concerns of an uncontrolled revival of the virus.
Italy was the first EU country to announce mandatory testing on Dec. 28, followed by the US on the same day – even though US measures will take effect from Jan. 5. France, Spain, and the United Kingdom quickly followed suit.
Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne rejected Beijing’s criticism, noting that the restrictions are aimed to prevent new variants and are in compliance with the rules from the World Health Organization. The European Commission has claimed the majority of the EU’s members back pre-departure testing for travelers coming from China, Al Jazeera reported.
Even so, the EU announced Tuesday that it has offered Beijing assistance in dealing with its coronavirus situation, including vaccine donations, as the bloc seeks to coordinate how authorities should screen arriving Chinese travelers for any new versions, the Associated Press added.