The UK government has announced that covid testing for Chinese visitors to England will be discontinued.
In January, voluntary on-arrival testing was implemented in an effort to detect any new variants arriving from China.
According to the government, an average of 99 people per flight were tested, totaling 3,374 passengers.
During that time, 14 positive cases were identified, but none of them were considered to be a variant of concern.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), “passengers aged 18 or over arriving at Heathrow Airport from mainland China will no longer be invited to take a voluntary test on arrival” as of Friday, March 17.
It also stated that beginning on April 5, no one flying from China to the UK will require a negative pre-departure test.
According to the DHSC, China is sharing more information about testing, vaccination, and genomic sequencing results, resulting in greater transparency about domestic disease levels.
It said the latest data indicated that Covid variants observed in China were “the same as those already circulating in the UK”.
According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, all regions have passed their infection peak.
“The end of this enhanced surveillance is consistent with international partners such as the EU, which are reducing border measures to monitor new Chinese variants,” it added.
The department stated that the government would keep a number of contingency plans in place to “enable detection and swift and proportionate action for potential new harmful variants” if the need arose.