China urges countries to ensure travel curbs are 'scientific and fair'

US, Italy, Japan demanding negative COVID-19 tests from China travelers as cases rise after Beijing lifted restrictions.

China urges countries to ensure travel curbs are 'scientific and fair'

COVID-19 requirements being imposed by countries on travelers from China should be based on science, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

“China believes all countries’ responses to COVID-19 should be scientific and fair,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a news conference in Beijing.

China is facing an explosive spike in infections after dumping its strict “zero-COVID” policy this month, following unrest and unprecedented protests in parts of the country.

That has prompted countries such as the US, Japan, and Italy to enforce new requirements for people coming from China, including negative COVID-19 tests.

The steps are in contrast to Beijing’s decision to scrap mandatory quarantine for all visitors starting Jan. 8.

“The current measures prevent normal exchanges among people and we hope all countries will base their decisions on science and will ensure a stable global supply chain and economic recovery,” Wang said, according to the Chinese daily Global Times.

The Foreign Ministry previously said China’s “focus” in its COVID-19 response “has shifted from ‘infection prevention’ to ‘health protection and severe illness prevention’.”

The National Health Commission has also announced it will no longer release daily virus figures, which will instead be shared on a monthly basis by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.