Italy imposes COVID tests for travelers from China – POLITICO


Italy has ordered mandatory coronavirus testing for all travelers from China, the health minister announced on Wednesday.

Orazio Schillaci said the tests – including antigen swabs and sequencing of the virus – were essential to ensure the surveillance and identification of all variants of COVID-19 and to protect the Italian population.

The health minister is already tracking the results of swabs taken from passengers arriving at Malpensa airport from China since Dec. 24, the health ministry said, and has recommended sequencing of all variants.

Of 212 swabs taken at Malpensa airport from travelers arriving directly from China on two flights on Boxing Day, 97 tested positive for COVID-19, La Stampa reports. Those who tested positive were isolated and contact tracing was initiated.

Schillaci’s announcement on Wednesday comes in the wake of China lifting its zero COVID policy, which included months-long lockdowns. The country’s reversal on strict measures is already leading to its biggest outbreak of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, with medical staff struggling to cope.

Other countries, including Japan, India and Malaysia, have already implemented measures for travelers from China, Reuters reports. The United States is also considering new measures for those coming to the United States from China, the outlet reports.


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