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Chinese passengers at the Beijing International Aiport, December 27, 2022
China is under strain with a fast-spreading coronavirus infectionImage: Kyodo/picture alliance

Germany advises against travel to China amid COVID surge

Roshni Majumdar
January 7, 2023

Germany discouraged nonessential trips to China, two days after the country said it would impose testing requirements for arrivals from China.


Germany advised nationals against nonessential travel to China given a surge in coronavirus infections there, the German Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

"The number of infections in China is currently at its highest level since the pandemic began in 2020. The Chinese health system is overburdened, and adequate care in medical emergencies is also affected," the ministry said in a statement on the website.

"Unnecessary trips to China are therefore currently not recommended," the ministry added.

Germany will require a negative COVID-19 test for travelers arriving from China beginning January 9.

EU recommends testing passengers from China

Diplomats from the European Union recommended earlier this week that countries introduce coronavirus testing requirements.

France, Italy, Sweden, Spain and the UK have testing requirements in place already.

Besides the European countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan and India are among countries that require negative tests for passengers from China.

China has been overwhelmed by a burgeoning number of coronavirus cases since it removed many of the measures it imposed to contain the virus for the past three years.

Health experts believe that China has been underreporting cases, with EU diplomats earlier this week encouraging member states to also test and sequence wastewater samples from aircraft from China to detect COVID-19.

Beijing suspends social media accounts critical of government COVID-19 policies

On Saturday, Beijing suspended or shut down more than 1,000 accounts critical of the government's coronavirus policies on China's alternative to Twitter.

Sina Weibo said it addressed 12,854 violations, including attacks on experts and medical workers.

China's ruling Communist Party had largely relied on the medical community to justify its tough lockdowns and quarantine measures and allows no direct criticism of its policies. 

The report was written in part with material from The Associated Press news agency.

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