France and Great Britain introduce corona tests for travelers from China

Science Coronavirus

France and Great Britain introduce corona tests for travelers from China

Huge wave of infections – China officially stops publishing the corona numbers

Daily corona data are no longer announced in China – despite an explosion in the number of infections: around 250 million infections have been feared since the beginning of the month. Our China correspondent Matthias Kamp reports from Shanghai.

Travelers from China now have to be tested for Corona in a total of four EU countries – this also increases the pressure for a similar regulation in Germany. At the beginning of the year, the USA also tightened its entry requirements.

NOh Italy and Spain the EU country France and Great Britain are also introducing a corona test requirement for travelers from China. In the future, they would have to submit a negative corona test that is less than 48 hours old, the government in Paris announced on Friday evening. According to British media, the government in London will also introduce a corona test requirement for travelers from China.

French government circles said that random corona tests would also be carried out on arrivals from China. If the result is positive, virus sequencing is carried out to identify possible new variants of the corona virus. Travelers from China are obliged to isolate themselves upon entry if they test positive for the corona virus.

From January, the United States will require travelers from the People’s Republic to have a negative corona test, as the US health authority CDC announced on Wednesday.

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Health Minister Lauterbach

In addition, a mask requirement applies to flights from China to France, it said. The restrictions are due to be published later this weekend in the form of a decree by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, according to a French government statement. The European Union and its member states would also be informed about the new rules.

With the decision in Paris, the pressure on Germany to also take protective measures could increase. Italy had already introduced a corona test requirement for travelers from China on Wednesday, and Spain announced the step on Friday morning.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) told journalists on Friday that he was currently no reason for a corona test obligation for travelers from China see. At the meeting, Lauterbach also announced that he would be speaking to his French counterpart on Friday afternoon about the subject. “We need a European solution,” warned Lauterbach.

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People wearing masks cross a street, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks continue in Shanghai, China, December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

In early December, Beijing backed away from its strict zero-Covid policy in a radical about-face. Since then, the corona restrictions have been significantly relaxed. China is currently experiencing the highest increase in infections in the world, and hospitals are overcrowded in many places. Countries such as the USA, Japan, India and Malaysia have already tightened their entry requirements for travelers from China this week.

Lauterbach explained on Friday that he currently sees no reason for routine corona tests when entering China, since all virus variants that have been observed so far are already known. The EU health authority ECDC argued the same way on Thursday.

At the same time, the Federal Minister of Health admitted that this assessment of the situation could change, especially since data on variants from China could not be called up “reliably”. He announced that he would prepare a system for “variant monitoring” at airports together with other European countries.

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