Germany on Saturday advised against non-essential travel to China, classifying it as a "threatening virus variant area" as of Monday, due to the current COVID-19 wave in China, the Foreign Office said.
The office also explained on its website that the decision was made due to China's "peak level of COVID-19 infections and the overburdened healthcare system."
Germany's disease control agency Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also said "the People's Republic of China, excluding the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is considered a virus variant area of emerging concern as of 0 a.m. on January 9, 2023."
The phrase "threatening to occur" is a new category in the classification of virus variant areas, the institute added.
According to the new measures, stricter entry regulations for travelers from China, including antigen or PCR tests, will take effect in Germany on Monday.
A government statement said Germany implements joint recommendations of the EU states.
Travelers from China are to be required to present to the airlines at least one negative antigen rapid test result that is no more than 48 hours old before departing for Germany.
Those arriving from China will also be able to undergo random testing after landing at the request of the authorities.
Germany, like Austria and Belgium, also wants to test the wastewater of aircraft from China for possible new coronavirus variants.