The EU Council, at its regular meeting in early 2023, “urges” the bloc’s member states to require a COVID-19 test from tourists arriving from China, the largest traveler population. The new restrictive measure should be introduced from January 8.
Europe is pulling back the curtain to “wall off” Chinese travelers by agreeing on a unified border approach. “Member States are strongly advised to introduce a requirement for all passengers departing from China to the Member States to have a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours before departure from China,” said a statement submitted by the Swedish chairmanship of the Council of the European Union.
In addition, EU Member States are also strongly recommended to remind all passengers on flights to/from China of the need to wear protective masks, and respirators and to provide advice on health and personal hygiene measures.
“The IPCR, with the support of the ECDC and the EEAS and taking into account the WHO assessment, will continue to monitor the epidemiological situation in the EU and developments in China, including the level of data transmitted, to ensure that the EU coordinates any measures it deems necessary,” it was also noted in a statement
In addition, the members of the European bloc are strongly recommended to require all passengers departing from China to present a negative test for COVID-19, obtained no more than 48 hours before departure from the PRC. Arriving from China to EU member states. Random testing will also be conducted.
The main reason for introducing a new sanitary practice for a densely populated country is the sharp increase in the number of cases of infection with COVID-19, which, according to experts, may spread to Europe. In addition, Western authorities have criticized the PRC for allegedly providing false data about the current epidemiological situation. Recently, the World Health Organization accused the Chinese authorities of underestimating the situation with COVID-19. In addition, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a media briefing, called on Chinese authorities to provide more prompt and regular data on hospitalizations and deaths, as well as more complete real-time sequencing of the virus. We will remind you that since January 8, China has lowered the level of control of COVID-19, opened international borders, and restored outbound tourism in an orderly manner.
The current epidemiological situation in China has caused controversy among European countries on whether or not to introduce additional measures for entering the country after arriving from China. For example, the authorities of Greece, Switzerland, and Germany recently announced that they do not plan to impose travel restrictions on those arriving from China, despite the increased number of infections that the latter is facing. But countries such as Spain, France, and Italy have decided to introduce mandatory tests for COVID-19 for passengers arriving from China.