Germany advises against travel to China amid COVID surge – DW – 01/07/2023

Germany advised nationals against non-essential 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 test for travelers arriving from China from January 9.

EU recommends countries to test passengers from China

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

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

Besides the European countries, the US, 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 draconian measures it imposed to contain the virus for the last three years.

Health experts predicts that China has been under-reporting cases, with EU diplomats earlier this week encouraging European countries to also test and sequence wastewater samples from aircrafts from China to detect the spread of the infection.

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.