The Swedish government, which will be holding the Presidency of the European Union for the first six months of 2023, has called a meeting of the Council’s crisis management mechanism Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR), in order to discuss the possible reintroduction of COVID-19 restrictions on travellers from China.
Sweden wants the meeting to be held on January 4, Wednesday, asserting that due to the situation in China there’s need for joint European action, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
So far, three EU Member States so far have introduced entry restrictions for passengers from China, following an increase in the number of cases in this country, after the same reopened its borders on December 7, 2022, after keeping them closed since the pandemic began in 2020.
According to the Swedish Minister of Social Affairs, Jakob Forssmed, it is necessary for the EU to quickly impose the necessary measures in the current situation, noting the meeting called to be held on January 4, will enable the block to agree on a common line of measures.
“Sweden strives for a common line for the entire EU when it comes to the introduction of possible travel restrictions. It is important that we quickly get the necessary measures in place,” the Minister said.
Sweden’s Public Health Agency is already analysing and evaluating the situation in China, how that situation may affect Sweden, and the essential measures that should be taken in order to avoid any outbreak of the Coronavirus in Sweden.
At the same time, Minister Forssmed claims that the EU Commission is working on a recommendation on the measures EU countries should take for passengers from China. One of the measures that could be taken in order to assess the situation in Europe, according to the Commission, is analysing waste water at major international airports, in order to detect any new variants of COVID-19.
“Yesterday, the government made a decision on a mission to the Public Health Authority, where the possibility of monitoring virus variants in wastewater at Arlanda must be taken into account. This complements the extensive task the authority has already been given to monitor the Coronavirus and its variants as well as secure capacity for sequencing and other analysis,” Minister Forssmed said while commenting on the latter recommendation of the EU Commission.
Three EU countries have so far introduced entry restrictions for travellers from China – Italy on December 26, Spain on December 31, and France is set to do so as of January 5.