EU states ‘recommend’ requiring travelers from China to test negative


The agreement reached by the Twenty-Seven on Wednesday encourages EU Member States to require travelers from China to have a negative Covid test less than 48 hours before departure.

The first attempt at a coordinated European response. EU member states are “strongly encouraged” to require travelers from China to present a negative Covid test 48 hours before departure, according to an agreement reached by the Twenty-Seven on Wednesday 4 January.

The Europeans also agreed on other recommendations to be implemented by each Member State during a meeting of experts who intend to develop a coordinated response to China’s rising pollution. , said the statement of the Swedish EU presidency.

States are thus “encouraged” to complete the required negative test upon boarding in China, with “random tests” upon arrival on European soil with a “sequence of positive results” to identify possible new variants.

Twenty Seven is also encouraged to “test sewage from airports hosting international flights and aircraft arriving from China” with genomic sequencing.

Finally, the Member States agreed to “recommend the wearing of protective masks by all passengers on flights to and from China”, according to the results of this meeting, which was also attended by representatives of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. These conclusions are considered definitively accepted as recommendations without legal force. The Europeans agreed to review the situation and the measures in place “by mid-January”.

DEBATE – Covid in China: a new threat? Beijing condemns the restrictive measures imposed by 12 countries © France 24

Without general movement “the device will have holes”

In early December, Beijing ended its strict “zero Covid” policy, which has led to a rise in the number of contaminations among the Chinese population, and will lift quarantine obligations for travelers from abroad on Sunday.

Fearing the lack of transparency in Chinese figures and the emergence of new options, Europeans initially reacted in a scattered manner, with three EU Member States (Italy, Spain, France) deciding to unilaterally introduce arrivals or tests. On board for travelers from China.

China on Tuesday condemned the restrictions, which have been imposed by a growing number of countries around the world, and warned it could take “countermeasures” in retaliation.

“Our approach is based on science (…). We take measures that we believe are right, adapted to the evolution of the situation in China and based on the discussions conducted among our experts,” he told reporters on Wednesday. European Commission.

While member states will remain free to implement recommendations adopted at EU level, “everyone understands that if we don’t act together, there will be gaps in the system,” another spokesman added.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), one of the EU’s health agencies, on Thursday deemed the systematic screening of travelers “unwarranted” given the level of herd immunity in Europe and the availability of the same options as in the EU. Demon.

Pointing to the lack of “reliable” Chinese statistics, the ECDC re-estimated on Tuesday that the explosion of infections in China “should not affect the epidemiological situation in Europe”.

WHO criticizes Chinese data

In contrast, the World Health Organization (WHO) considered the global control measures “understandable” due to “the high circulation (of the virus) in China and the lack of complete information”.

The WHO also criticized China’s new “too narrow” definition of deaths attributed to Covid-19 on Wednesday, saying data from Beijing “underrepresented” the scale of the outbreak. “The current figures released by China fully reflect the true impact of the disease in terms of hospital admissions, intensive care admissions and especially deaths,” said WHO chief health officer Michael Ryan. .

with AFP

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