Germany discourages non-essential travel to COVID-hit China

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Germany on Saturday discouraged non-essential trips to China, the world’s most populous nation, which is struggling with a surge in COVID-19 cases after relaxing strict virus restrictions.

“We currently discourage non-essential trips to China. The reason is a peak in COVID-19 infections and an overwhelmed health system,” the German foreign ministry said on Twitter.

More than a dozen countries have slapped fresh travel regulations on travelers from China.

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European Union experts this week “strongly encouraged” the bloc’s 27 member states to demand COVID-19 tests from people on flights from China and conduct random tests on arrivals.

Several other EU nations -- including Germany, France, Germany, Italy and Spain --- have already announced COVID-19 test requirements on travelers coming from the Asian nation.

The United States and Japan are among the non-European countries to have brought in similar measures.

Chinese authorities have said in recent days that the first wave of infections has hit a peak in cities including Beijing and Tianjin.

But the end is far from near, with officials warning of a multi-pronged outbreak in the coming weeks as city workers return to their rural hometowns during the winter travel season.

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