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January 11, 2023

Greece Imposes Pre-Departure COVID Test Requirement for Arrivals From China

Greece has decided to impose a pre-flight COVID test requirement for all arrivals from China following the increase in the number of infection cases in the latter and the recommendations of the European Union.

According to the Greek government, since January 8 all persons who reach Greece from China will have to take a Coronavirus test 48 hours before boarding their flight. In addition, they will also be required to wear a face mask during the entire flight, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The decision of Greece to impose the test requirement on arrivals from China comes not long after the EU came out with an official recommendation.

Last week, the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union recommended that all member states of the bloc impose a pre-departure test requirement for all those travelling from China and carry out random testing upon their arrival.

Apart from recommending that member states impose testing and mandatory mask requirement, the EU Commission also recommended that all EU countries continue promoting vaccine uptake, especially among vulnerable people.

“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.

The same revealed that the EU Member States have agreed to assess the epidemiological situation and review the measures introduced against arrivals from China by mid-January 2023.

The recommendation of the EU to tighten the COVID rules for arrivals from China follows the increase in infection cases that the latter has registered recently.

Data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that China has reported a total of 210,660 new infection cases in the last seven days. the same source reveals that during the last seven-day period China has reported 668 deaths.

Taking into account such figures as well as the Commission’s recommendation, several other EU countries have also imposed COVID restrictions for arrivals from China.

The Netherlands is one of the most recent countries that decided to make COVID tests obligatory for arrivals from China. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport said that starting tomorrow, January 10, all arrivals from China will be obliged to test for Coronavirus 48 hours before their arrival in the Netherlands.

In line with the new rules that the Netherlands is to introduce, all airlines flying from China will be required to inform travellers of the test requirement. In addition, they must also inform travellers of the consequences they will face in case they arrive in the Netherlands without negative test results.

Similar to Greece and the Netherlands, several other countries – Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy – have also introduced test requirements for arrivals from China.