According to officials, the U.S. government is thinking of enforcing new Covid regulations for visitors from China out of worry over virus-related information made public by the Chinese government.
The absence of transparent data, particularly viral genome sequence data, being reported by the PRC has raised growing concerns in the international community, officials stated in a statement late Tuesday
Without this information, public health officials stated, “it is becoming more and more difficult to ensure that they would be able to identify any potential new variants and take quick action to restrict the spread.”
The officials cited recent Japanese regulations requiring a negative Covid test for tourists arriving from the Chinese mainland beginning on December 30. China is already dealing with a sharp increase in infections nationally as a result of a sudden reopening.
According to the announcement from Japan’s health ministry, visitors from China who lack a current immunization certificate will also be forced to do a pre-departure test. The notice states that travelers coming from Hong Kong and Macao will not be subject to the measures.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed the necessity for “science-based” measures when questioned about Japan’s actions, but did not go into greater detail.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, deputy director-general Wang Wenbin told reporters that 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.”
Malaysia is also taking action, according to U.S. officials, who also noted that India and the World Health Organization have expressed alarm about the situation in China.
The officials stated that “the United States is heeding the science and recommendations of public health professionals, talking with partners and contemplating taking similar steps we may take to protect the American people.”