Health agency ‘closely monitoring’ COVID-19 in China, no mention of pre-flight tests
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OTTAWA – The national public health agency says it’s “closely monitoring” the COVID-19 situation in China, but gives no indication it’s planning to follow the U.S. by requiring that travellers from China be tested for the virus.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says in a statement that any policy changes will be made in a travel health notice.
It says there’s already a “level two” notice for all countries, including China, meaning that travellers should practise enhanced health precautions, including the use of personal protective equipment, delaying travel and avoiding high-risk activities.
An additional notice regarding Chinese New Year was posted Dec. 23, saying the festivities in late January are expected to involve large crowds in China, elevating the risk of infection with COVID-19 or other diseases.
It says “China has recently lifted many of its COVID-19 restrictions,” which may increase case numbers in the country, and unvaccinated people should continue to avoid unnecessary travel.
The PHAC statement says it’s monitoring genomic sequencing data and the impacts of COVID-19 variants on public health in China.
The U.S. announced Wednesday it was joining a few other nations by imposing travel restrictions because of a surge of infections in China after the rollback of strict anti-virus controls there.
Beginning Jan. 5, travellers to the U.S. from China will have to take a COVID-19 test no more than two days before they travel and provide negative results before they board their flights.
— With files from the Associated Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2022.