France and Great Britain Reintroduce Covid Tests for Travellers
France and Great Britain want to introduce a corona test requirement for travellers from China. The USA, Italy, Spain and South Korea had previously decided to make testing mandatory.
The British government confirmed corresponding media reports in the evening. Passengers arriving in England on direct flights from China from January 5 must present a negative corona test taken before departure.
Although there are no direct flights from China to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, work is underway to implement the measure across the UK as soon as possible. From January 8, travellers from China will also be randomly tested upon arrival in England.
French Health Minister François Braun announced that travellers from China would also have to present a negative corona test less than 48 hours old to enter France. The obligation to test should apply regardless of whether the travellers land on a direct flight or with a stopover in France.
In addition, random PCR tests will be carried out in France from Sunday on entry from China. The virus will be sequenced to identify possible new variants if the result is positive. If the test is positive, travellers would have to isolate themselves.
Masks are also mandatory for flights from China to France. The French government announced that the measures would be published later this weekend by decree of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. The EU and its member states would also be informed.
After almost three years, China’s leadership abruptly ended its strict zero-corona policy on December 7. According to officially unconfirmed internal estimates, 248 million people were infected with the coronavirus in the first three weeks of December alone – 18 per cent of the population.
Countries such as Japan, India and Malaysia have also tightened their entry requirements for travellers from China. The pressure on Germany could now grow to take protective measures.