The European Commission’s Health and Security committee have held an emergency Covid meeting amid China’s response to allowing 1.4 billion access to travel globally.
Beijing’s policy on zero-Covid lockdowns has proved unsuccessful and has since been scrapped and Brussels are trying to come up with a joint plan to prevent passengers who are carrying the virus from arriving from China.
Within Europe there are divisions of re-introducing Covid measures as Germany has said there is not any indication a more “dangerous variant” has been developed.
The German Health Ministry spokesman Sebastian Guelde said, there is “no indication that a more dangerous variant has developed in this outbreak in China … which would bring corresponding travel restrictions.”
However, China has been accused of not being forthcoming over what type of variant they have, and Brussels do not know as yet if there could be an explosive outbreak which was seen in late 2019 which then forced the UK into a lockdown in March 2020.
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Health experts are concerned that there has been no sharing of data of any signs that Covid may have evolved sparking fears.
On Thursday the European Commission said the BF7 omicron variant which is very prevalent in China is now already active in Europe, but its threat has not significantly grown.
But the EU said in a statement, “However, we remain vigilant and will be ready to use the emergency brake if necessary.”
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni increased pressure on the EU to join Italy’s approach on Covid testing Thursday.
She said that Covid tests of all passengers from China “is only effective if it is taken at the European level.”
She then said many arrive in Italy from connecting flights through other European countries and warned that more than 50% of those who have arrived in recent days have tested positive.
Two flights from China to Italy saw passengers being subjected to new mandatory Covid testing after more than half of the passengers were positive for the virus.
Guido Bertolaso, the Italian, Lombardy regional councillor for welfare, told a news conference, “On the first flight, out of 92 passengers 35 (38%) are positive.
“On the second, out of 120 passengers 62 (52%) are positive.”
The EU must all agree a coordinated response because at the height of the pandemic tight restrictions were introduced which stopped the spread of Covid.
However, member nations have agreed to enforce an “emergency brake” at short notice to curb any mass transmissions of Covid.