Covid-19: the concern of some EU countries over travelers from China

The end of the "zero Covid" policy in China has raised concerns among several countries which are considering entry restrictions for Chinese travelers, as China faces the largest wave of contamination in the world.

REUTERS - Gonzalo Fuentes

Text by: RFI Follow

3 mins

China announces the end of its zero Covid plan and the reopening of its borders.

Travelers from China will therefore be able to travel abroad again.

And this causes concern in some countries of the European Union.


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As Italy is overrun with tourists for the holiday season, health authorities, alarmed by the lifting of restriction measures in China, have decided to subject all travelers from this country to antigen tests.

Since December 26, nearly 100 Chinese tourists, out of the 210 already arrived at Milan Malpensa airport, have tested positive for Covid-19, reports our correspondent in Rome,

Anne Le Nir


The Italian government has therefore decided to make rapid antigen tests compulsory for all travelers arriving from China, including those in transit.

According to the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, this measure is necessary to guarantee the monitoring and identification of possible new variants of the virus, in order to protect the Italian population.

The Minister of Health specified that he was in contact with the competent authorities of the other member countries of the European Union to define a common strategy.

In Belgium, it is the mayor of the very touristy city of Bruges who wants to monitor the entry of Chinese tourists, with tests or a vaccination certificate.

He would like decisions at European level, explains our correspondent in Brussels,

Laxmi Lota

To read also: China: Beijing emergencies overwhelmed by the surge in Covid-19 cases

France ready to study all useful measures

The French government, for its part, assures “

to follow very carefully the evolution of the situation in China


On Wednesday, December 28, the Minister of Health said he was "


to study all the useful measures which could be implemented as a result, in conjunction with France's European partners, and within the legal framework that exists today


Since August 1, 2022 and the adoption of the law putting an end to the exceptional regimes created to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, travelers no longer have to complete any formalities before their arrival in France, regardless of the country or area of ​​origin.

This text, however, leaves the possibility for the government to impose, until January 31, the presentation of a negative test before entering the territory for people over the age of 12 "

in the event of the appearance and circulation of 'a new variant of Covid-19 likely to pose a serious health threat


According to the latest European Council recommendations, published on 13 December, no Member State should restrict access to its territory for public health reasons, except in the event of the appearance of a new variant or an aggravation of the epidemic.

This was the case in November 2021 when the 27 agreed to close their external borders to several southern African countries, after the appearance of the Omicron variant.

►Also read: New wave of Covid-19 in China: India stands ready


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