EU to Coordinate COVID-19 Restrictions on Travel From China

Andrew Thornebrooke
By Andrew Thornebrooke
January 4, 2023COVID-19share
EU to Coordinate COVID-19 Restrictions on Travel From China
Travelers arriving from China walk past information banners and receive free COVID-19 self-test kits, at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Jan. 4, 2023. (Robin van Lonkhuijsen/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Member nations of the European Union are coordinating a response to communist China’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the appropriate travel restrictions required to deal with the regime’s sudden opening of travel.

“The overwhelming majority of countries are in favor of pre-departure testing,” said EU Commission spokesman Tim McPhie at a Dec. 4 press conference.

“These measures would need to be targeted at the most appropriate flights and airports and carried out in a coordinated way to ensure their effectiveness.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, objects to travel restrictions that many nations have begun to impose and has warned of “countermeasures” if such actions are expanded.

COVID-19 exploded across China last month following the regime’s abrupt termination of its so-called zero-COVID policy in the face of nationwide unrest.

Beijing has attempted to conceal the number of deaths and infections related to the crisis, saying that only 10 Chinese people died of the disease in December. International sources estimate the real figure at about 161,000 deaths.

Chinese scientists claim that there is no pressing need for new restrictions on travel since the coronavirus variants emerging from China are already prevalent in Europe. However, scientists from the World Health Organization say that no meaningful data has been presented to demonstrate what strains are present in China.

Speaking ahead of a Dec. 3 meeting between Chinese scientists and the WHO, virologist and WHO committee member Marion Koopmans said that the information Chinese authorities had presented on COVID hospitalization rates was “not very credible” and urged the regime to be more honest for the sake of China’s people.

“We want to see a more realistic picture of what is actually going on,” Koopmans said.

“It is in the interests of China itself to come forward with more reliable information.”

World Braces for More COVID From China

Many nations worldwide are preparing restrictions that will require passengers traveling from China to present a negative COVID-19 test before departure.

Australia, Canada, France, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Qatar, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States are all seeking to place stronger restrictions on arrivals from China.

Sweden, which holds the EU presidency, said in a statement that “travelers from China [to Europe] need to be prepared for decisions being taken at short notice.”

In addition to pre-departure testing, EU nations will likely agree on special testing of aircraft wastewater to see if planes coming to Europe from China contain COVID-19 variants that are not common in Europe.

Likewise, the White House issued a statement saying there was no need for the CCP’s threats and that the nations of the international community were acting in the interests of the health and safety of their citizens.

“There’s no cause for retaliation here just because countries around the world are taking prudent health measures to protect their citizens,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a Jan. 3 press conference.

“Again, there is no need for retaliation,” Jean-Pierre added. “This is something that all of us, other countries, are doing to make sure that we are protecting our citizens.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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