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‘Testing alone’ not enough to ensure safe travel, says ECDC director

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

A negative coronavirus test is merely a ‘snapshot’ without longer-term certainty, says Andrea Ammon.

Unvaccinated travelers hoping that a negative COVID test could become a ticket for a breezy summer trip got a disappointing message today from Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Speaking at a POLITICO event, Ammon said that in the current situation, where just a minority of the population is fully vaccinated and the coronavirus is still circulating widely, “testing alone doesn’t do the trick.”

Council and Parliament negotiators last week reached a compromise deal to establish EU-wide COVID certificates, which the bloc wants to use to ease travel by certifying that a traveler got vaccinated, tested or has immunity from a previous infection. The Commission said the certificates should cover tests, as well as vaccines and recovery from the virus, to prevent discrimination of unvaccinated travelers.

But Ammon warned that “we should keep in mind that the proof of a full-course vaccination, prior infection or lack of current infection as defined by a PCR [test], which are the three elements that are included in the certificate, have very different levels of certainty regarding the risk of the individual.”

There’s evidence that a full vaccination and a recent infection do reduce the risk of infection, but a negative coronavirus test is merely a “snapshot” without longer-term certainty, Ammon said, arguing that even if someone tests negative, but doesn’t respect social distancing, “there’s a risk that the person gets infected — maybe even before the result of the negative test is available.”

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email pro@politico.eu for a complimentary trial.

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/testing-alone-not-enough-to-ensure-safe-travel-says-ecdc-director/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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