UK to end Covid testing requirement for China arrivals
- Voluntary testing at London’s Heathrow Airport also scrapped.
- US, EU states were concerned about deadly new variants.
- Situation within China has improved, says UK government.
LONDON: Travellers flying to the UK from China will no longer need proof of a negative Covid test from April 5, the government announced on Friday, ending a requirement in place since early January.
Voluntary testing for coronavirus of passengers arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport from China was also scrapped immediately, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
The UK was among more than a dozen countries to impose the regulations on travellers from China around two months ago, as the Asian nation faced a surge in virus cases after relaxing strict curbs.
The United States, some European Union states and others were concerned about the potential for deadly new variants to spread globally.
But the situation within China has since improved, leading to Friday’s announcement by the UK government.
“The removal of these measures comes as China has increased information sharing regarding testing, vaccination and genomic sequencing results, providing greater transparency on their domestic disease levels,” the DHSC said in a statement.
“Latest international genomics data indicates that the Covid variants observed in China continue to be the same as those already circulating in the UK.”
The department added that the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has also reported that all regions in the country have passed their infection peak.
“The ending of this enhanced surveillance is in line with international partners such as the EU who are reducing border measures to monitor new variants from China,” it noted.