EU ‘strongly’ urges Covid testing for arrivals from China

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Brussels, Jan 5 (IANS) European Union (EU) officials are “strongly” recommending that all member states insist on negative Covid-19 tests from Chinese arrivals before they travel.

Wednesday’s recommendation on negative tests came from the EU’s Integrated Political Crisis Response group (IPCR), a body made up of officials from the bloc’s 27 governments, reports the BBC.

France, Spain and Italy have already introduced testing, but others, such as Germany, had been monitoring the situation.

England, outside the EU, requires pre-flight testing on China arrivals from Thursday.

Despite the recommendation, it remains unclear if an EU-wide policy will be introduced.

Individual states however, can set their own policy.

The advice from the IPCR is a change in tack from the body’s disease prevention agency, which last week advised against the introduction of mandatory Covid tests.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said testing was “unjustified”, given the high rates of vaccination in Europe, and that variants circulating in China were already in the EU.

Wednesday’s development comes a day after the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, said an “overwhelming” number of member states favoured restrictions on Chinese arrivals.

–IANS

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