European Union member states agreed on Wednesday to recommend that member states require pre-departure testing for arrivals from China and random on-arrival testing to find possible new covid variants.
Many countries have started to require covid-test for those arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, and it is unclear if this EU’s recommendation covers all, not just the mainland.
Announcement from the EU:
Today the Member States of the EU, in the presence of the Schengen Associated Countries, met in the framework of the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) to discuss the epidemiological situation in the EU/EEA and developments in China.
The Member States agreed on a coordinated precautionary approach in the light of COVID-19 developments in China, especially considering the need for sufficient, reliable data and the easing of travel restrictions by China starting on 8 January 2023, along the lines set out below.
- The Member States agree to recommend to all passengers on flights to and from China to wear a medical mask, or FFP2/N95/KN95 respirators.
- The Member States agree to issue advice to incoming and outgoing international travellers coming from or destined for China, as well as to aircraft and airport personnel, regarding personal hygiene and health measures.
- The Member States are strongly encouraged to introduce, for all passengers departing from China to Member States, the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 48 hours prior to departure from China.
- The Member States are encouraged to complement these measures with:
- Random testing of passengers arriving from China on arrival in the Member States, as appropriate, and the sequencing of all positive results to strengthen surveillance of the epidemiological situation.
- Testing and sequencing of wastewater from airports with international flights and aircraft arriving from China.
- Continuing to promote vaccine sharing and the uptake of vaccines, including booster doses, particularly among vulnerable groups.
The IPCR, with the support of the ECDC and the EEAS, and taking into account WHO assessment, will continue to monitor the epidemiological situation in the EU and developments in China, including the level of data shared, with a view to ensuring EU coordination of any measures considered necessary.
The Member States agree to assess the situation and review the introduced measures by mid-January 2023.
China has criticized countries and European Union for requiring covid-test for arrivals from China when they continue to need one and still require quarantine for international arrivals until January 8.
Clearly, the covid-numbers coming from China don’t reflect reality, and there is always a possibility of a new variant popping up.
Also, there is minimal ER capacity in China, and I am sure that other countries don’t want to deal with covid positive medical tourists from the mainland.