Canberra, 3 January 2023 (TDI): Australia imposes mandatory Covid tests for travelers from China after a spike in cases in the tourism and business market.

The Australian Health Minister, Mark Butler, announced that travelers from China would need to take a Covid test within 48 hours before travel. Also, they need to show evidence of a negative result before entering Australia, starting from 5 January.

“The decision to implement these temporary measures has been made out of an abundance of caution. We are taking into account the dynamic & evolving situation in China & the potential for new variants to emerge in an environment of high transmission,” Butler said.

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Moreover, the mandatory testing will apply to travelers from Hong Kong and Macau in addition to those from mainland China.

Other Nations

Australia has now joined the US, India, Italy, and Japan among other nations in imposing the mandatory test requirement for arrivals from China.

“The Australian government shares the concerns that have been expressed over recent days by a number of other governments. Most importantly by the World Health Organization,” Butler said.

Furthermore, Butler underlined that Australia was well positioned in “the fight against Covid” in an environment of largely open borders.

He said the government welcomed the resumption of travel between Australia and China, noting many Chinese Australians had been unable to see family and friends for months and, in some cases, years.

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Butler said the approach was no different from measures put in place in Europe, the US, and Asia. “It will not come as any surprise to the Chinese government that Australia is putting this in place,” he said.

However, the Minister told that the government of Australia informed China of its plans on Sunday morning and “we are not aware of a response to that”.