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Elaf from London: Britain’s defense secretary says Britain’s response to China’s overseas trips is “under review”.
Minister Ben Wallace made the comments after a UK government spokesman said there were no plans to introduce mandatory COVID-19 tests for people arriving in the UK from China, and several other countries imposed a series of restrictions.
The news comes after China announced that it was abandoning its Covid-zero policy and preparing to reopen its borders in January 2023.
There are fears that the end of nearly three years of strict measures in the country of 1.4 billion people could lead to a massive spread of the disease around the world.
Starting January 5, the United States announced on Wednesday that everyone arriving from China must provide a negative COVID-19 test result two days before their trip.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the move was prompted by an increase in infections and a lack of adequate and transparent information from China, particularly about strains circulating in the country.
Countries impose restrictions
India, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan have also announced restrictions on travelers from China.
Asked if the British government would consider restrictions on travelers from China, Defense Secretary Wallace said: “The government is considering, it’s under review, we’ve clearly noted what the US and India have done, and I think Italy has seen that.”
“Wherever the health threats to the UK are, obviously we are monitoring,” he said.
He added: “I think the Department of Transport will take medical advice, we’ll talk to the Department of Health and they’ll make some decisions based on coming out of China, but at the moment it’s under review.”
A government spokesman previously said: “There are no plans to reintroduce COVID-19 testing or additional requirements for those arriving in the UK.”
The spokesperson added that the UK’s Health Protection Agency will continue to monitor the prevalence and spread of harmful variants and review international data.
Beijing’s announcement means millions of Chinese could head abroad for the Lunar New Year holiday next month – the first time many of them have been able to travel internationally since 2020.
Travel companies Trip.com and Qunar reported increases in international ticket bookings and searches for visa information on their websites after the news, with increased demand in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the US, Britain and Australia.
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