UAE embassy in China announces changes to COVID-19 travel policies

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The United Arab Emirates’ Embassy in China said on Sunday that citizens and travelers leaving China for the UAE must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before their departure.

As of Sunday, quarantine procedures for “all personnel upon entry” were scrapped and the UAE now expects travelers from China to present a health declaration upon arrival by filling out a form provided at the Chinese customs port.

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In recent weeks, several countries have imposed virus curbs on travelers departing from China.

In the European Union, France, Italy, and Spain were the first to enact such measures in response to rising cases. Other countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Malaysia, Morocco, Qatar, South Korea, Taiwan, and the US, have also introduced additional measures for arrivals from China.

On Tuesday, the EU agreed on a coordinated approach to the changing COVID-19 situation, though specific details have yet to be announced. These measures may include testing and vaccination requirements, monitoring and surveillance for new variants, and health and hygiene measures for air passengers.

China recently lifted its stringent anti-virus controls, leading to a surge of COVID-19 cases in its population of 1.4 billion, many of whom have little natural immunity to the virus.

Funeral homes have reported an increase in demand, and international health experts predict at least one million deaths in China this year.

While the official number of COVID-19 deaths in China has been low, with a reported 5,258 as of January 3, it is widely believed that the actual death toll is much higher.

Health data firm Airfinity estimates that approximately 9,000 people in China are dying from COVID-19 each day.

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