More EU countries demand negative coronavirus test for travelers from China
Germany, Greece, Austria, and Sweden are asking for proof of a negative coronavirus test from people traveling in from China. These countries say that the wave of infections in China calls for extra precautions, despite no new dangerous virus variants emerging yet. The Netherlands is not among them, and has said a European-wide decision is preferable.
The four European countries are taking precautions partly because the European Union said on Wednesday evening in new advice about China that tests are, “Strongly recommended.” It was also advised to wear face masks on flights from China and to test the wastewater from planes from China. However, there has been no law laid down for all of Europe.
After mass protests, China finally let their draconian restrictions go, and infections have surged since. Beijing resents countries introducing travel restrictions that only apply to travelers from China and warned against countermeasures earlier this week. It is unknown what those measures will be.
EU member states France, Italy, and Spain had already decided on mandatory testing. Belgium announced shortly after the European meeting on Wednesday that they will also require a negative test for travelers from China. For now, this only applies to direct flights. The Netherlands, for now, is sticking with self-testing and advising people to go into isolation if their self-test is positive.
Other countries that require a negative coronavirus test from travelers from China are Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Japan, Qatar, Taiwan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. Morocco does not want to allow any passengers from China to enter at all.
Reporting by ANP