fredag 30. desember 2022

Chinese tourists are ready to travel abroad again. Here's why some countries are hesitant

A surging Covid outbreak in China. Countries imposing travel restrictions on Chinese travelers, wary of the virus being imported. Scientists warning against fearmongering and xenophobia. But this isn't early 2020. The familiar scene is playing out now as China battles its biggest-ever outbreak, after abandoning its stringent zero-Covid approach and partially reopening its border three years into the pandemic.

The country announced this week it will drop quarantine requirements for international arrivals and resume outbound travel for Chinese citizens, which had previously been banned. It prompted a surge of eager travelers booking flights out of the country, hungry for a trip after several years of isolation -- but it also sparked concern among some overseas governments as China's Covid cases skyrocket.

Almost half of the 212 passengers who arrived in Italy's Milan airport from China on Monday tested positive for Covid, said a regional health chief on Wednesday. But while countries including the US and Japan move to impose restrictions, others such France and Great Britain have made it clear they are ready to welcome Chinese travelers -- who, pre-pandemic, had been a major driver of international tourism.