BFederal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach currently considers compulsory testing when entering China from China to be “not yet necessary”. As a central measure, however, close-meshed “variant monitoring” is being prepared at European airports, said the SPD politician on Friday in Berlin. “In addition, I think it is very important that Europe reacts in a coordinated manner here,” said Lauterbach.
Spain and Italy have already introduced or announced entry restrictions for travelers from China. The EU is also considering further measures. Consultations on this took place on Thursday at EU level. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides then called on the states to review their national surveillance measures for the virus and, if necessary, to ramp them up again. A crisis meeting on how to proceed is expected to take place next week.
Lauterbach said that at this point in time, a threat from new variants is not to be expected. So far, already known variants have appeared. In the afternoon he would “discuss the matter very intensively” with the French Minister of Health.
“We need very precise “variant monitoring” because we cannot reliably call up this variant monitoring from China,” said the minister. “Here, the targeted review of individual flight sequences, for example, could also play a role, which is being prepared.” But there is no reason for an “antigen test on a routine basis”.
China is currently struggling with a rapid increase in corona cases. According to officially unconfirmed internal estimates, 248 million people in China contracted the virus in the first three weeks of December alone. Scientists warn that the corona wave could produce new variants that would then find their way to other countries.