U.S., Other Countries Consider Limitations on Chinese Travelers

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AP Photo_Yuki Iwamura, Susan Walsh/AP

Dec. 28 (UPI) — As China drops its COVID-19 lockdown restrictions for travelers, other countries announced limitations on incoming visitors from the country because of its rapid jump in coronavirus cases.

Citing a “lack of transparency” by the Chinese government over the effects of COVID-19 there, the United States is considering just restrictions for Chinese tourists, U.S. officials told CNN, The Washington Post and CNBC.

The officials told the outlets the lack of transparent data makes it “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 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.

Japan, Malaysia and South Korea are expected to follow suit with limitations on Chinese travelers. Japan will require a negative COVID-19 test on arrival for travelers from China and quarantine those who test positive.

Malaysia said it will increase virus surveillance measures while South Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency will announce new measures for Chinese travelers on Friday.

Chinese officials said on Tuesday that demand for China inbound and outbound travel “immediately started to skyrocket” on Tuesday with the announcement that the country was loosening its long-held zero-tolerance quarantining restrictions.

It said the Chinese major travel agency Ctrip reported inbound ticket orders to the Chinese mainland rose 412% from the same period on Monday, and they were 1.6 times higher than outbound ticket orders.

China’s foreign ministry urged the United States and other countries worth with them to ensure the safe passage of travelers.

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