TENSION: The “overwhelming majority” of EU countries voted on Tuesday in favour of systematic Covid-19 tests for travellers from China
Faced with the relaxation of the zero Covid policy and the multiplication of cases in China, Europe is tense. The “overwhelming majority” of EU countries voted on Tuesday in favour of systematic Covid -19 tests for travellers from China before their arrival in Europe.
The measure is part of the recommendations of a committee of health experts of the Twenty-Seven (Health Security Committee) and will be discussed on Wednesday during a meeting intended to prepare a coordinated EU response to the explosion in the number of infections in China. “These measures should be targeted at the most appropriate flights and airports and implemented in a coordinated manner (across the EU) to ensure their effectiveness,” the spokesperson stressed.
Wednesday’s meeting of the IPCR (European system for a reaction at the political level in crisis situations) could lead to recommendations which will then have to be endorsed by the Member States.
“Unjustified” systematic screening
China on Tuesday condemned the mandatory Covid-19 tests already imposed by a dozen countries around the world, including three in the EU, on travellers from its territory, warning that it could take “countermeasures” in reprisals.
Beijing ended its draconian “zero Covid” policy in early December, leading to an explosion in the number of contaminations in the Chinese population, and will lift its quarantine obligations for travellers arriving from abroad on Sunday.
Worried about the lack of transparency on the Chinese figures and fearing the appearance of new variants, the Europeans reacted in dispersed order, three of the Member States of the EU (Italy, Spain, France) opting unilaterally for restrictions. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), one of the EU’s health agencies, on Thursday deemed “unjustified” systematic screening of travellers.