The European Union strongly encourages EU member states to make a negative Corona test mandatory for people who want to fly to Europe from China. That is the outcome of the crisis talks in Brussels today.
The special European Working Group on Crisis Management also recommends that all passengers on flights to and from China wear a face mask. Member states would also have to test arriving travellers from China on a random basis at airports, where sewage would also have to be tested.
All member states have agreed to the opinions of the working party. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health told the NOS that minister Kuipers will let the House of Representatives know tomorrow how the Netherlands will deal with the recommendations.
‘Not an excessive measure’
The Chinese government wants to release many of the restrictive measures on travel on January 8, even though the country is burdened by a huge wave of Corona infections.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference today to understand that countries are imposing entry restrictions on travelers from China due to the lack of information from the Chinese government. Mandatory Corona tests to enter a country are, according to the WHO, not a travel restriction and “not an excessive measure”.
The agency is responding to criticism from Beijing of countries that have already come up with entry measures in recent days, including the US, Italy and France. Beijing had also announced it would take” countermeasures ” if the EU implemented joint entry restrictions.
Dominant Omicron variants
No new variants of the coronavirus are currently circulating in China, the WHO reported earlier today based on data from Chinese authorities. The data China shares shows that only infections occur with virus variants that also occur elsewhere in the world.
Among Chinese people who get corona domestically, the omikron variants are popular.5.2 and BF.7, according to the data. Several countries are worried about the emergence of a possible new virus variant in China, now that so many people are infected there at the same time.
‘Reported figures too low’
The figures published by China on the number of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and Corona deaths are too low, according to the WHO. The service says it wants” more often and faster ” reliable data from China on hospitalizations and deaths.
“WHO is concerned about human lives in China and has reiterated the importance of vaccinations, including booster shots to protect against serious illness, hospitalization and death,” said Tedros.