EU Member States Agree To Impose Pre-Departure Testing of Travellers From China

EU Member States Agree To Impose Pre-Departure Testing of Travellers From China

After EU Member States had been divided over the necessity of pre-departure testing of travellers coming from China for the past week, an emergency meeting of the Council’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) took place on 04 January to establish a coordinated approach.

The European Union Member States have agreed to recommend that all Member States impose a pre-departure testing for all arrivals from China as well as random testing on arrival as a response to the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases that China is experiencing.

The COVID test should be taken no more than 48 hours before embarking on the flight.

“The Member States agreed on a coordinated precautionary approach in the light of Covid-19 developments in China, especially considering the need for sufficient, reliable data and the easing of travel restrictions by China starting on 8 January 2023.”

Statement Released by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union

In addition, the Council also recommends that all passengers on flights to and from China wear a medical mask and all Member States will start issuing advice to incoming and outgoing international travellers coming from or destined for China, regarding personal hygiene and health measures.

The Council also reminds countries to continue to promote vaccine sharing and the uptake of vaccines, including booster doses, among their own citizens, particularly for vulnerable groups.

The recommendations will enter into force as of 09 January 2023.

Who Has Implemented the Restriction

The decision, which is not legally binding, was made by the EU's integrated political crisis response (IPCR), a body that helps coordinate crisis management among the 27 member states.

The coronavirus test should be taken no more than 48 hours before embarking on the flight.

The decision comes after Italy, France and Spain imposed their own unilateral travel measures in response to a mass outbreak of COVID-19 cases in China.

Following the recent EU recommendation, Germany will impose mandatory COVID tests on all travellers from China.

Greece is also changing its entry rules for travellers from China and will require pre-departure Covid testing in the wake of a surge of Covid cases in that country.

On 05 January, the Swedish government announced that travellers from China will be subject to entry restrictions upon arrival in Sweden, starting from Saturday, 07 January 2023.

Update: 09/01//2023

The Netherlands will require travellers from China to test for COVID-19 within 48 hours before their arrival in the Netherlands, starting from Tuesday, 10 January 2023.

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