Union officials have strongly recommended that all member states require negative covid tests from chinese arrivals before they travel. france, spain, italy, and england have already implemented testing policies, while other countries like germany have been monitoring the situation. this recommendation came a day after the european commission said an overwhelming majority of member states were in favor of restrictions on chinese arrivals. the world health organization has also weighed in, saying that there is no evidence of new variants in china and that beijing is under-representing the true impact of covid in the country.
Recommendation to require covid tests was made on wednesday, and travel restrictions on chinese arrivals will ease on sunday. the chinese government has suggested that the restrictions are politically motivated and has warned of potential retaliation. experts have warned that the lack of testing and data could be the reason why there is no evidence of new variants in china.
European union is considering an eu-wide policy, but individual states can set their own policy. the international prevention and control research (ipcr) has changed its stance from last week, when it advised against the introduction of mandatory covid tests. the european centre for disease prevention and control (ecdc) has said that testing is unjustified due to the high rates of vaccination in europe, and the variants circulating in china are already in the european union.