[Central News Agency] The British government announced today that it will no longer conduct sampling tests for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) on passengers entering from China from now on; from April 5th, relevant passengers will not be required to show COVID-19 negative certificates.
According to a joint press release from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Health and Safety Authority (UKHSA) and the Department for Transport, the new policy is in line with that of international partners such as the European Union (EU), which is also reducing virus surveillance measures for travelers arriving from China .
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The British government stated that the cancellation of relevant measures was due to the increase in information shared by China on testing, vaccination, virus gene sequencing, etc., which will help increase the "transparency" of the domestic epidemic in China.
According to the latest international information, there is no virus variant in China that has not been found in the UK.
The UK side will continue to complete the overall epidemic monitoring and response measures, so as to take prompt and proportional actions when necessary.
From January 5 this year, passengers entering England directly or via a third place from China or transiting in England must obtain a COVID-19 negative certificate before boarding the plane.
Starting from January 8, UKHSA conducted sampling inspections at London Heathrow Airport for passengers entering from China. Positive samples were sent to the laboratory for priority genetic sequencing.
Currently only England, where London is located, has direct flights between the UK and China.
Sampling is voluntary, that is, passengers can choose not to accept the invitation.
In addition, travelers do not need to self-isolate even if they test positive.
The British government emphasized at the time that it would review the relevant epidemic prevention restrictions on a rolling basis; once the situation of China's sharing of epidemic-related information and data improves, the aforementioned "temporary preventive measures" will be re-examined.
According to the information released by the British side today, since the sampling inspection was carried out at Heathrow Airport in January, a total of 99 passengers have been inspected for each flight from China. So far, a total of 3,374 passengers have been tested, of which 14 are positive cases. No worrying mutant strains were found.
(Editor: Xu Ruicheng) 1120318