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Greece Requires Pre-Departure COVID Test Requirement for Chinese Arrivals

Following an increase in the number of infection cases in China and suggestions from the European Union, Greece has decided to enforce a pre-flight COVID test requirement for all arrivals from China.

According to the Greek government, beginning January 8, all passengers arriving in Greece from China must undergo a Coronavirus test 48 hours before boarding their aircraft. They will also be forced to wear a face mask for the duration of the journey.

Greece's decision to impose the test requirement on Chinese arrivals comes just days after the EU issued an official recommendation.

The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union requested last week that all member states adopt a pre-departure test requirement for all people travelling from China, as well as random testing upon arrival.

Aside from urging that member states enforce testing and mandatory mask requirements, the EU Commission also advised that all EU countries continue to promote vaccination uptake, particularly among vulnerable persons.

“The Member States are encouraged to complement these measures with continuing to promote vaccine sharing and the uptake of vaccines, including booster doses, particularly among vulnerable groups,” the statement of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU reads.

According to the same source, the EU Member States have agreed to monitor the epidemiological situation and review the measures put in place to combat Chinese arrivals by mid-January 2023.

The EU's request to strengthen COVID restrictions for arrivals from China follows an upsurge in infection cases reported by the latter recently.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, China reported 210,660 new infection cases in the last seven days. According to the same source, China has reported 668 deaths in the last seven days.

Taking these data, as well as the Commission's advice, into account, several other EU countries have placed COVID limitations on Chinese immigrants.

The Netherlands is one of the most recent countries to make COVID exams mandatory for Chinese visitors. According to the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport, all arrivals from China will be required to test for Coronavirus 48 hours before their arrival in the Netherlands beginning tomorrow, January 10.

According to the new laws that the Netherlands will implement, all airlines travelling from China will be compelled to notify passengers of the test need. Furthermore, they must advise visitors about the repercussions of arriving in the Netherlands without negative test results.

Several other nations, including Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, have implemented test requirements for Chinese newcomers, similar to Greece and the Netherlands.


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