The Italian Ministry of Health has announced that all travelers arriving in Italy from China will be tested for COVID-19 after an alarming number of passengers who landed in Milan were found to be sick.
The declaration by Health Minister Orazio Schiracci came after almost half of the passengers on two flights from China to Milan were believed to have had COVID, according to Bloomberg.
If the test results are positive, the ministry said it would conduct “molecular tests for viral sequencing.”
“This measure is essential to ensure surveillance and detection of possible virus variants,” a statement posted on the ministry’s website said.
Countries implement COVID travel requirements for Chinese travelers amid transparency concerns
Bloomberg reported that Italy could impose stricter travel restrictions on travelers from China if the new variant is detected.
Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Italy and the United States have also announced testing requirements for passengers arriving from China.
Biden to regulate travel from China after earlier calling Trump a chauvinist
The United States has cited an increase in infections, and the Chinese government has pointed to a lack of transparency, including the genome sequencing of the virus strain.
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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “These data are important to effectively monitor surges in cases and reduce the likelihood of the introduction of new variants of concern.” Effective January 5, 2023, it applies to all travelers regardless of nationality or vaccination status.
Fox News’ Julia Musto and Associated Press contributed to this report.