US Official Says Covid Tests for Travelers from China Based ‘on Science’

The US said on Tuesday that the requirement for Covid testing for tourists from China was backed by science and due to Beijing’s lack of transparency on rising cases.

China warned “countermeasures” against nations that imposed Covid restrictions on its tourists for “political reasons” earlier on Tuesday, as the world’s second largest economy suffers a massive surge of infections following the removal of stringent quarantine requirements. Beijing has also called the growing international restrictions on tourists from its territory “unacceptable,” following the imposition of new Covid-19 rules on visitors from China.

When asked about the Chinese counterpart’s statement, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, “This is an approach that is based solely and exclusively on science.”

The measures have “very public health concerns that undergird them” due to “the surge of Covid-19 cases in the PRC and the lack of adequate and transparent epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data being reported from the PRC,” Price said.

China has seen a rise in Covid infections since suddenly dropping a zero-Covid policy in response to rare public protests over widespread lockdowns.