China threatens response to COVID testing requirements for passengers

Chinese officials have called out other countries for their COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers coming from China, threatening to impose countermeasures in response.

Speaking at a daily briefing on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning called the virus testing requirements imposed by other countries “excessive” and “unacceptable” and said they “lack scientific basis.”

Several countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and Japan have announced strict COVID-19 measures toward passengers coming from China amid growing concerns of the lack of data on daily infections in the country and the spread of new variants.

“We believe that the entry restrictions adopted by some countries targeting China lack scientific basis, and some excessive practices are even more unacceptable,” Mao said.

“We are firmly opposed to attempts to manipulate the COVID measures for political purposes and will take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity,” Mao added.

Mao’s remarks come as the Biden administration has plans to implement new COVID-19 restrictions for passengers traveling from China amid the surge of virus cases and the lack of transparency with reporting virus data from the country.

Starting Thursday, all passengers who are at least 2 years old or older traveling from China, Hong Kong or Macau are required to show a negative COVID-19 test no more than two days before their departure.

U.S. officials noted that the requirement will apply to all air passengers regardless of their nationality and vaccination status.

China, which has downgraded COVID-19 from a Class A infectious disease to Class B and shifted away from its strict COVID measures as well, last month announced it will lift the mandatory COVID-19 quarantine requirement for travelers entering the country.

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