Despite fundamental criticism, the German aviation industry is waiting for specific regulations to implement the new corona test obligation for passengers from China. The mandatory testing recommended by the EU before departure from China would not have been necessary, the industry association BDL said on Thursday in Berlin. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EU agency ECDC have found that such travel restrictions do not effectively prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) had previously announced a new corona test requirement for people entering China on the EU recommendation. He also announced spot checks upon entry to identify virus variants. In addition, there will be waste water controls on aircraft from China. The airport association ADV welcomed the fact that passengers should be tested before departure in China and not only upon arrival at a European airport.
The corresponding infrastructure for waste water disposal is available at Frankfurt Airport, said a spokesman for the operator Fraport. Almost a dozen planes from the People’s Republic land in Frankfurt every week. Special ground handling vehicles supply the aircraft with water and dispose of the waste water in accordance with the applicable regulations. However, more precise analyzes would have to be carried out in external laboratories. Now we are waiting for more detailed implementation regulations.
Even before the EU recommendation, the aviation industry had been very critical of new tests. Above all, the international airline association Iata, whose board also includes Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr, had doubted the need. It is very disappointing to see measures that have proven ineffective over the past three years being reintroduced as a reflex, IATA boss Willie Walsh said on Wednesday.
The ADV pointed out that the planned spot checks on entry would have to be organized by government agencies. The health authorities are responsible, and airports, ground handling companies and airlines must be included in their considerations.
Austria introduces compulsory corona tests for travelers from China
According to the EU recommendation, Austria is also introducing a Covid test requirement for travelers from China. You have to do a test before departure and present the negative result before boarding the plane, as the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday in Vienna. The background is the latest corona wave in China after the end of the strict corona protection measures.
Health experts from the 27 EU countries were not able to agree on a mandatory test for travelers from China on Wednesday evening, but strongly recommend it. Wearing a medical or FFP2 mask is also recommended on board aircraft from China. (dpa)