EU To End COVID Restrictions For Chinese Travellers
EU member states agreed recently to “phase out” the requirement for a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test for travellers from China by the end of the month.
Last month, the EU recommended requiring pre-departure testing and post-arrival random checks for travellers from China in order to stop the spread of the virus because of worries about China’s alleged lack of open reporting on the coronavirus when it reopened its borders.
According to a statement by the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council, in light of the recent epidemiological developments and taking into account the opinion of the Health Security Committee, member states agree:
- to phase out the requirement for a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from China to member states by the end of February.
- to phase out random testing of travellers arriving from China to member states by the middle of March.
France has dropped COVID testing restrictions imposed on travellers from China, the French embassy in Beijing stated last week.
“Travellers from China to France are no longer required to present the result of a negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours or fill a health declaration form,” the French embassy in Beijing said in a statement on 16 February.
“Random screenings on arrival are also abolished,” it added.
Germany has also dropped its pre-departure testing requirement on 22 February as well as random tests.
Growing Number Tourists
The easing of restrictions is welcome news to the travel industry as they were hit hard when the pandemic struck.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the easing of restrictions will be a major boost to businesses across the Travel and Tourism sector in the region.
Despite the EU’s strong recovery in 2022, the number of tourists in the European Union only reached 91% of the pre-pandemic level by the end of 2022.
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