U.S. weighing travel restrictions from China as country’s COVID-19 cases surge

The U.S. is considering travel restrictions for those who come to the country from China over a “lack of transparent data” as COVID-19 infections on the mainland surge after Beijing announced it was relaxing strict pandemic policies and quarantine requirements.

The announcement from U.S. officials follows several other countries, such as Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan, tightening restrictions against those traveling from China.

“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 [People’s Republic of China],” U.S. officials, who requested anonymity, told news outlets in a statement 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 added that the U.S. is “following the science and advice of public health experts.”

China began to relax its strict pandemic policies following mass protests over years of lockdowns, prompting Beijing to even scrap its quarantine requirements for international travelers starting Jan. 8. 

Chinese officials have insisted their reversals are not related to civil unrest but are instead “science-based and proportionate.”

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For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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