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EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified

On Thursday, Italy urged the rest of the EU to follow its lead and ensure Chinese arrivals were tested, and quarantined if necessary.
The US, Japan, Taiwan and India also recently announced mandatory testing, as China deals with a Covid surge.

But the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said the surge was "not expected to impact" the EU.

In a statement, the ECDC said:

High levels of Covid in China are anticipated given the country's low immunity and recent relaxation of its rules.

But higher immunity in the EU means a Covid surge in China is not expected to impact the bloc.

The Covid-19 variants circulating in China are already circulating in the EU.

Potential imported infections from China are "rather low" compared to the number of infections already occurring in the EU

And citizens in the bloc have relatively high vaccination and immunisation

Concerns were raised after Chinese authorities decided to let people travel more freely from 8 January, after almost three years of largely-closed borders.

EU health officials held talks in Brussels on Thursday to co-ordinate any response. The ECDC added: "We remain vigilant and will be ready to use the emergency brake if necessary."

The EU can issue recommendations, but each nation is free to make their own policies, like Italy.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said her country's efforts to curb Covid-19 transmissions from China would be undermined if other EU countries did not follow suit.

In the UK, a minister said the issue was "under review".
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