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    China Resumes International Travel Despite Global Restrictions on its Travelers

    China is gradually resuming international travel after nearly three years of COVID-19 restrictions.

    06 Jan 2023

    Rabat - The Chinese government on Thursday announced reopening its border with Hong Kong on January 8, ending nearly three years of COVID-19 restrictions and allowing Hong Kong residents to travel to the mainland without having to quarantine, news outlet Reuters reported.

    As China prepares to fully resume international travel and reopen to the world, an increasing number of countries have imposed travel restrictions on visitors coming from the East Asian country, with others placing a complete ban on them, including Morocco.

    While EU countries have failed to establish a coordinated consensus on the current COVID-19 situation, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Belgium have placed COVID restrictions on travelers coming from China, varying in degrees.

    For instance, Italy, which was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, has required travelers coming from China to undergo testing upon arrival and those infected with the virus had to quarantine.

    Meanwhile, the US and the UK require mandatory COVID-19 tests on travelers coming from China starting from January 5.

    Morocco, however, took a harsher stance and introduced a complete ban on travelers coming from the East Asian country. “All travelers arriving from China, regardless of their nationalities, will be banned from entering Morocco starting January 3,” indicated Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Other countries that have imposed travel restrictions include Australia, India, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Israel, and the Philippines.

    The collective decision to place restrictions on China reflects a rise in COVID-19 cases in the Asian country, coupled with Beijing’s unwillingness to share real-time data.

    However, China criticized the move and considered it to be “discriminatory” against Chinese travelers and warned others to take “countermeasures.”

    China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that the decision to place restrictions on its travelers “lacks scientific basis and some practices are unacceptable.”

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has echoed global concerns and urged China to adopt a data transparency approach and share real-time information on the epidemiological situation in the country.

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