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EU recommends asking travelers from China for negative COVID test

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PARIS, FRANCE: Chinese travelers arrive at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport as new Covid-19 restrictions are being applied to the Chinese travelers on January 4, 2023 in Paris, France. (Julien Mattia - Anadolu Agency)
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Jan 05, 2023 - 09:29 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – European Union member states agreed Wednesday on a “coordinated precautionary approach” against a recent spike in coronavirus infections in China, recommending asking travelers from the country for negative COVID tests.

“The Member States are strongly encouraged to introduce, for all passengers departing from China to the Member States, the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 48 hours prior to departure from China,” the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU said in a statement released after a meeting of the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) group.

Members also agreed to recommend to all passengers on flights to and from China to wear a medical mask and agreed to issue advice to incoming and outgoing international travelers coming from or destined for China as well as to aircraft and airport personnel regarding personal hygiene and health measures, the statement added.

The introduced measures will be reviewed by the member states by mid-January.

Following growing discontent and unprecedented protests in parts of the country, China has started easing its stringent pandemic measures, saying it was shifting its focus from stopping virus transmission to preventing serious infections.

The country is facing an explosive spike in infections after dumping its strict “zero-COVID” policy this month.

Beijing has also decided to scrap a mandatory five-day quarantine for all arrivals starting Jan. 8.

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