Germany phases out COVID-19 tests for travelers from China

Germany no longer requires that people arriving in the country from China take a COVID-19 test, the government said on Wednesday.

After the European Union (EU) agreed to end the requirement by late February, countries across Europe are now gradually dropping the test requirement for travelers from China.

As of Feb. 22, China is “no longer classified as an ‘area of variants of concern in which a variant of particular concern threatens to emerge,'” Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said in a statement.

Since the EU’s member states could not agree on binding COVID-19 rules for passenger air traffic from China, the requirements varied by country. The EU’s recommendations were also criticized as outdated.

China has just resumed outbound group travel for tourists to 20 countries, including Thailand, the Maldives, the United Arab Emirates and Hungary and Switzerland in Europe. Germany is not yet among the destinations.

According to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), the number of outbound trips is to increase from 170 million in 2019 to 228 million in 2030. ■


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