February 5, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Greece requires negative Covid test and masks for travelers from China

Negative covid-19 test, masks and checks on travelers from China at Greek airports is a government decision taken on Thursday at an emergency meeting in the office of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The outbreak of coronavirus in China and the XBB1.5 mutation have put the government on alert, especially after EU decided to strongly recommend arrangements for travelers from the Far Eastern country. At a meeting with the health authorities, it was decided that Greece will adhere to the measures taken by the EU regarding the coronavirus and the situation in China, reports media with reference to sources.

The drastic measures required for travelers from China at the moment are as follows:

  • negative covid-19 test 48 hours before departure
  • using a high protection mask.

Decision EU also provides:

  • Random screening of passengers arriving from China to Member States as needed, and sequencing of all positive results to enhance surveillance of the epidemiological situation.
  • Waste water control of airports with international flights and aircraft arriving from China.
  • Continue to promote co-distribution of vaccine and vaccination, including booster doses, especially among vulnerable groups.

A corresponding statement is expected from the Greek Ministry of Health, where the measures will be specified.

On Wednesday, January 4, European Union officials urged passengers flying from China to the EU to get tested for Covid-19 before boarding as Beijing plans to ease travel restrictions despite a wave of new infections. China plans to ease travel restrictions on Jan. 8 despite a wave of new infections that has left Chinese hospitals and funeral homes overwhelmed, it has been revealed.

The European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) said last week that it is not currently recommending action on travelers from China because the variants circulating in China were already in the European Union.

The ECDC also said that EU citizens have a relatively high vaccination rate and the likelihood of imported infections is low compared to daily infections in the EU, and health systems are currently coping with this.

However, as of December 31, travelers from China wishing to visit France must wear surgical masks and be prepared for random PCR testing upon arrival in the country. According to euronews.comforeign passengers must will provide a negative PCR test taken less than 48 hours before flight departure. These measures were introduced until January 31.

Many experts consider this measure political and unrelated to public health. It is worth noting that in relation to tourists from the United States, where today much more dangerous and infectious strain “Omicron”no measures similar to those indicated are introduced.

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