A huge corona wave is currently racing through China. At the same time, the leadership in Beijing is again approving large-scale travel abroad. Countries like the USA are therefore introducing mandatory corona tests out of concern about new virus mutations. The traffic light warns against scaremongering.
SPD, Greens and FDP have spoken out against corona restrictions for travelers coming from China. It is important to "observe the situation in China critically and to react if necessary," says SPD health expert Heike Baehrens in the "Welt". With a view to demands from the Union, she also emphasizes: "I do not think it is appropriate at this point in time to restrict entry or even to issue flight bans."
Health expert Janosch Dahmen from the Green Party supports Baehrens' position: "The idea of trying to stop the entry of the corona virus in the event of an outbreak of the dimensions we are currently seeing in China through travel restrictions or the suspension of direct flight connections to Germany is unrealistic."
Instead, Dahmen recommends concentrating on effective instruments such as wearing masks indoors, testing before meetings with risk groups and the reliable implementation of proven hygiene concepts. "New, much more dangerous virus variants are unlikely, but possible," he adds.
FDP health politician Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus also warns against stirring up panic. "Leading virologists assume that the coronavirus wave in China will not create a new virus. Virus variants are emerging all over the world, but there is no evidence of a dangerous mutation." Therefore, close observation is the appropriate response.
"We are in an endemic phase in Germany, have a basic immunization rate of over 95 percent, and effective vaccines are available." Therefore, there is no longer any reason for state-imposed protective measures.
China is currently experiencing the highest increase in Covid infections in the world, and hospitals are overcrowded in many places. In early December, Beijing backed away from its strict zero-Covid policy in a radical about-face. Since then, the corona restrictions have been significantly relaxed.
In view of the high number of infections in China, several countries, including the USA, France, Spain and Great Britain, have ordered a corona test for travelers from the People’s Republic. Next week, the EU states want to discuss a common strategy.