Germany urges EU Covid variant checks for China arrivals

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Germany urges EU Covid variant checks for China arrivals
Passengers walk through a departure terminal of the international airport in Beijing. Photo: Noel Celis / AFP

Germany currently sees no need to impose routine tests on arrivals from China, but is seeking a coordinated system to monitor variants across European airports, said health minister Karl Lauterbach on Friday.


With such a system, new variants of the coronavirus can be detected and appropriate measures taken quickly, the minister said as concerns rise over an explosion in infections in China.

Lauterbach said it was "not yet necessary" for routine tests on  passengers from China as all variants currently seen are already known.

However, he said this could still change given that data from China could not be reliably obtained.

Hence, European nations need to "closely watch" their airports, said the minister, adding that he would be holding talks with his French counterpart on Friday afternoon.

READ ALSO: Will Germany block travel from China amid soaring Covid infections?


"We need a European solution," he said.

"For instance, targeted checks of specific aircraft could play a part here," said Lauterbach.

Coronavirus infections have surged in China, overwhelming hospitals as it unwinds hardline controls that torpedoed the economy and sparked nationwide protests.

A growing number of countries, including the United States, have imposed restrictions on all visitors from mainland China after Beijing decided to end mandatory quarantine on arrival, prompting many jubilant Chinese to make plans to travel abroad.

In the EU, Italy has ordered mandatory coronavirus tests for visitors from China, while Spain said travellers from the Asian giant will have to show proof that they are negative or  fully vaccinated.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also