EU recommends masks and testing for travelers departing from China

TEuropean Union member states recommend that all passengers on flights to and from China wear medical masks. The block also agreed to a requirement that travelers from China to any of the 27 EU countries must provide a negative test for Covid-19 taken no more than 48 hours before departure. This follows the lead of France, Italy and Spain, which previously announced they would require negative Covid tests for travelers from China.

The new recommendations were presented at a meeting of the Schengen countries on Wednesday, where countries agreed on a “coordinated precautionary approach” that includes random testing of passengers arriving from China to Europe, as well as sequencing positive results to strengthen surveillance of options. Other recommended measures include testing and sequencing wastewater from airports with international flights and aircraft arriving from China.

The EU decision will triple the number of countries requiring pre-arrival testing for travelers from China, from a dozen to more than three dozen.

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Officials in China protested recently introduced testing requirements and threatened to take retaliatory countermeasures.

Late last month, China announced that cancellation of quarantine requirements for international arrivals and permission to travel abroad for Chinese citizens. China will continue to require foreign visitors to show a negative Covid-19 test result before entering the country.

Starting today, the United States requires Covid-19 testing for travelers from China. All air passengers aged two years and over will need a negative test result within 48 hours prior to departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau.

Other countries requiring negative Covid tests for travelers from China include Canada, the UK, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and India.

Just three days before China’s announcement, the US State Department reissued Level 3 Travel Advisoryurging Americans to reconsider travel to China, Hong Kong, and Macau “due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, and COVID-19-related restrictions.”


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