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China orders COVID-19 testing for travel with some border cities

Passengers wearing face masks get off the train at Suifenhe railway station, a city in Heilongjiang province on the border with Russia, as the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread in the country
FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing face masks disembark from a train at Suifenhe railway station, a city in Heilongjiang province on the border with Russia, as the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the country, China National on April 11, 2020. REUTERS / Huizhong Wu

December 11, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has ordered some border cities to increase their vigilance for COVID-19 with measures such as mandatory checks for travelers, in an effort to prevent clusters caused by the virus. withdraw from abroad.

Since mid-October, locally transmitted symptomatic cases have risen to more than 2,000, with several small northern towns bordering Russia or Mongolia being among the hardest hit. The healthiest resources are scarce here compared to big cities.

“Recently there have been several localized outbreaks in China, all caused by viruses imported from abroad through cities with ports of entry,” the government said in a statement. a notice, citing the weakness of local regions in monitoring and failing to enforce measures.

The notice said those intending to leave border cities with land ports of entry must present proof of a negative test result within 48 hours before departure, excluding those arriving from cities with ports of entry linked to Hong Kong or Macau.

The announcement by the national authorities responsible for COVID-19 control said that visitors to such cities must undergo at least one COVID-19 test.

The experimental measures will be in effect until March 15 next year.

In November, authorities in Beijing advised people against non-essential travel to the Chinese capital from counties with land ports of entry.

Saturday’s announcement said that some cities with ports of entry may be tightened in “buffer” zones, but the measures are less tough on the outside.

The national health agency said the measures were intended to minimize disruption to livelihoods in areas that depend on cross-border trade.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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DUSTIN JONES

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