Compulsory COVID testing for travelers from China unnecessary: Swiss authority-Xinhua

Compulsory COVID testing for travelers from China unnecessary: Swiss authority

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-01-12 01:01:00

GENEVA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The current COVID-19 epidemiological situation "does not presently warrant compulsory testing for travelers from China," according to Swiss health authority.

The Omicron variants presently circulating in China pose only a small risk to Switzerland, it has said.

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said in a statement that the Swiss Federal Council had discussed the latest European Union (EU) recommendations, which would require passengers flying from China to the EU to have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding.

The Swiss authority has, however, decided that "travelers from China should not be required to undergo compulsory COVID-19 testing at the present time."

"People in Switzerland currently have strong protection against developing severe COVID-19: many of them have already been vaccinated or have already been infected and recovered," it said.

The present infection trends in China "are not expected to pose an increased risk to the Swiss population or the Swiss health system," the statement said.

The FOPH also said that the Omicron variants currently circulating in China "are already extensively distributed in Switzerland or are already on the decline."

The circulation of the virus in Switzerland is currently so high that "compulsorily testing the relatively small number of persons arriving in the country from China directly by air would have minimal impact on the virus's current spread," it noted.

"The risk of new virus variants of concern developing is also no higher in China than elsewhere," it added.

According to local media, around 97 percent of the Swiss population have developed antibodies against the virus via vaccination or infection. The numbers of both new infections and people being tested have been steadily falling in the country.