US considering new COVID restrictions on travelers from China

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. government is concerned about COVID surges in China and a lack of transparency from the Chinese government, resulting in the U.S. considering imposing new restrictions on travelers coming to the U.S. from China, according to U.S. officials.

“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,” the officials, who requested anonymity, said in a written statement, using the acronym for China’s official name. “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 noted that public health officials in the U.S. have been talking with partners around the world about “their concerns about this and potential steps that can be taken to monitor the surge of COVID cases effectively and identify any potential variants of concern.”

Bloomberg was the first to report the news on Tuesday.

The World Health Organization, Japan, India and Malaysia have expressed concern as well, the officials noted. Japan recently announced it will require a negative COVID test upon arrival for travelers from China and Malaysia “has announced new tracking and surveillance measures,” the officials said.

“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.

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