For more than two years, overseas travelers have had to quarantine upon arrival in China because of Covid restrictions. Pictured here at Beijing International Airport on June 18, 2022, are passengers waiting to be taken to quarantine-designated destinations.
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The U.S. government is considering imposing new Covid rules for travelers from China, officials said, citing concerns over virus-related data released by the Chinese government.
“There are mounting concerns in the international community on the ongoing COVID-19 surges in China and the lack of transparent data, including viral genomic sequence data, being reported from the PRC,” officials said in a statement late Tuesday.
“Without this data, it is becoming increasingly difficult for public health officials to ensure that they will be able to identify any potential new variants and take prompt measures to reduce the spread,” the officials said.
The officials pointed to Japan’s recent measures which require a negative Covid test for travelers arriving from mainland China from Dec. 30 – as China faces a sharp surge in infections nationwide following an abrupt reopening.
Travelers from China without a valid vaccination certificate will also be required to take a pre-departure test, the notice from Japan’s health ministry added. The measures will not apply to those traveling from Hong Kong and Macao, according to the notice.
When asked for comment on Japan’s measures, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized a need for a “science-based” measures, without elaborating further.
“The current COVID situation in the world continues to call for a science-based response approach and joint effort to ensure safe cross-border travel, keep global industrial and supply chains stable, and restore world economic growth,” deputy director-general Wang Wenbin told reporters in a Tuesday briefing.
The U.S. officials mentioned Malaysia is also taking measures while India and the World Health Organization have expressed their concern about the situation in China.
“The U.S. is following the science and advice of public health experts, consulting with partners, and considering taking similar steps we can take to protect the American people,” the officials said.
— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.