Canberra: Australia has announced mandatory Covid testing for travellers from China amid a "rapidly developing situation", The Australian reported on Sunday.

Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said the nation has decided to follow the position of countries across Asia, North America and Europe to introduce measures amid the "absence of comprehensive information about the situation in China".

"The broad consensus among all of the jurisdiction's chief health officers is there is no immediate public health threat to Australians," he was quoted as saying by The Australian newspaper.

Mandatory pre-departure Covid testing for those travelling from China will begin on January 5, the report added.

This development comes shortly after Canada became the latest country to join the list of countries that have made the Covid-19 test mandatory for flyers coming from mainland China due to a surge in coronavirus infections after the country rolled back its stringent "zero-Covid" policy.

The Canadian government announced that this new requirement will come into effect on January 5, at which point travellers aged two and older will need to provide proof of a negative test before leaving for Canada, Canadian-based Television Network CTV reported.

On Friday, both France and the United Kingdom announced that passengers arriving from China will be required to present negative COVID-19 test results beginning the first week of January.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that starting from January 5, the United States would require international travellers coming from China to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the country.

Italy and Spain and several other countries have also introduced precautionary measures amid a surge in coronavirus cases in China, where harsh COVID-19 restrictions were eased at the start of December.

Notably, India also made RT-PCR test mandatory for passengers coming from five countries including China.

"The RT-PCR test to be mandatory for international arrivals from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand," said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in an interview with ANI.

"On arrival, if any passenger from these countries is found symptomatic or tests positive for Covid-19 infection, then he/she will be put under quarantine," he added.