Jan 3, 2023 - World

Beijing threatens to take measures against nations imposing COVID travel curbs

COVID-19 testing center at Incheon International Airport of Korea

Workers guide travelers from China at a COVID-19 testing center at Incheon international Airport of Koera. Around a dozen countries have imposed new travel regulations on travelers from China. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese government on Tuesday threatened to take "corresponding measures" against countries that have recently announced COVID-19 testing requirements or other curbs for those traveling from China.

The big picture: China has experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases since early last month, shortly after the country abruptly scrapped its zero-COVID policies. A growing list of countries, including the U.S., U.K., France and Japan, have mandated COVID-19 screening for travelers coming from China.

  • Several countries have cited the fear of new variants spreading and the lack of transparency surrounding China's latest outbreak as reasons to impose new restrictions.

What they're saying: "We do not believe the entry restriction measures some countries have taken against China are science-based," China's foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Tuesday.

  • "We firmly reject using COVID measures for political purposes and will take corresponding measures in response to varying situations based on the principle of reciprocity," she added, without specifying possible actions.

State of play: The Chinese government's warning comes ahead of the easing of requirements for those traveling to China.

  • Beginning Jan. 8, people arriving in China will not have to quarantine, though they will have to show a negative COVID test result within 48 hours of departing for the country.

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