The Chinese embassies in Belgium, Russia, Egypt and Peru issued similar statements, imposing a quarantine in the country of origin, to which is added another quarantine on arrival in China, of at least 14 days.

China, like other countries, already required anyone traveling from abroad to complete a quarantine period on arrival, but a mandatory quarantine before boarding is an unprecedented requirement.

"All personnel from companies with Chinese capital must be quarantined, 21 days in advance, and provide quarantine certificates stamped by the respective companies", reads the statement posted on the official website of the Chinese embassy in Lisbon.

“Also who have disembarked in Portugal and intend to embark then to China must be quarantined in Portugal for at least 14 days, and the quarantine certificates must be issued by the airlines”, adds the same note.

In the case of Portugal, the only direct flight to China, operated by the airline Beijing Capital Airlines, is destined for the Chinese city of Xi'an, which requires 21 days of quarantine for those arriving from abroad, in a hotel designated by the authorities, and another seven days later at their respective residence in China.

Passengers must also present the vaccination certificate or the negative antigen test certificate. In addition to one of those two certificates, the passenger must present negative results of the PCR nucleic acid and IgM antibody tests.

The connection between Lisbon and Xi'an flies once per week.

Beijing Capital Airlines has also temporarily suspended the transport of passengers in transit to China, via Lisbon, from South Africa, Brazil, India, Nepal, United Kingdom, Angola, Mozambique, Italy and Spain.

The Asian country, where Covid-19 emerged in December, was the first to contain the outbreak, so it feared a resurgence due to cases from abroad, especially through Chinese people trying to return to the country.