The increase in cases of Covid in China has led health authorities across Europe to move quickly and announce new restrictions on travellers coming from the giant Asian country where the spread of the coronavirus began, just on three years ago. First, it was the United States and now the Spanish health ministry headed by minister Carolina Darias which has announced new measures that will be applied, especially at airports, arising from the concern that with the increase in contagions in China, new uncontrolled variants of the coronavirus will emerge. In this regard, Darias noted in a press conference that from January 8th, the current restrictions on Chinese travellers will no longer be in force, which is why she has predicted an increase in passenger traffic from China, to Spain and the whole world. For this reason, the new measures will focus on airports, where arriving passengers will have to present a negative Covid test result or proof of having been fully vaccinated.
A negative test result, or fully vaccinated
Thus, as Darias announced, the Spanish health ministry is working on different measures to control the expansion, collaborating with other arms of government. With the foreign ministry, they are working on a European-wide call for an integrated political response to the health crisis in order to achieve a common position throughout Europe and apply the same measures. "It is important to act with coordination and also quickly", she assured, and therefore, the recommendation to request the Digital Covid Certificate or equivalent (always with vaccines approved by the WHO) will be reviewed "as the best way to ensure the safety of everyone." Thus, in Spain controls will also be applied: it will be essential to have a negative test or to show proof of being fully vaccinated. According to Darias, these are "timely and necessary" actions. There are direct flights from China to both Barcelona and Madrid.
Asked if she was "concerned" by the news coming from China, the minister limited herself to saying that she is focused on maintaining maximum hospital capacity and anticipation, since these are, according to her, some of the great lessons of the pandemic. "We must be prepared to reverse the situation if necessary and that is why we are monitoring the cases and obtaining information", she explained, noting that what worries her most is to continue increasing surveillance and sequencing to be alert if new variants appear.
Need for second booster dose
In this press conference to inform about the new measures after the increase in cases in China, Darias also took the opportunity to send a message to the Spanish population reminding them of the importance of the second booster dose, which the ministry had already opened to all age groups. Only a very low percentage of the population that has had this injection, in a context in which Covid is regarded as being less and less important in our day-to-day life, and the minister made an appeal to encourage the population to get jabbed. In this regard, she recalled that Spain was one of the world leaders in Covid vaccination during the first part of the campaign and asked that it remain so.