EU says mandatory Covid screening for travellers from China 'unjustified'

© Noel Celis, AFP

The European Union's health agency said Thursday it believed the introduction of mandatory Covid screenings of travellers from China was "unjustified," despite a surge in cases in China.

The United States and several other countries have introduced mandatory Covid tests on travellers arriving from China.

But such measures are not necessary for the EU as a whole, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a statement.

>> Italy imposes mandatory Covid tests for travellers from China

Hospitals across China have been overwhelmed by an explosion of infections following Beijing's decision to lift strict rules that had largely kept the virus at bay but tanked the economy and sparked widespread protests.

China said this week it would end mandatory quarantine on arrival, prompting many Chinese to make plans to travel abroad.

However, the ECDC said it did not currently believe the surge in cases in China would impact the epidemiological situation in the EU "given higher population immunity in the EU/EEA, as well as the prior emergence and subsequent replacement of variants currently circulating in China".

Consequently, the agency considered "screenings and travel measures on travellers from China unjustified".

The European Commission convened a meeting of the EU Health Security Committee Thursday to discuss possible measures.


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