The US is considering restrictions for people arriving from the country where cases of the virus have surged. Italy plans mandatory testing after 52 percent of passengers on a flight from China to Milan on Boxing Day reportedly tested positive.
Tighter measures have also been outlined by Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and India.
The UK and Germany said they are monitoring the situation closely.
Beijing said Covid rules should be made on a “scientific” basis.
Beginning January 5, all travelers to the US from China will be required to take a COVID-19 test no more than two days before travel and provide a negative test before boarding their flight. The testing applies to anyone 2 years and older.
Other countries have taken similar steps in an effort to keep infections from spreading beyond China’s borders. Japan will require a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival for travelers from China, and Malaysia announced new tracking and surveillance measures. India, South Korea and Taiwan are requiring virus tests for visitors from China.
Lunar New Year, which begins Jan. 22, is usually China’s busiest travel season, and China announced Tuesday it will resume issuing passports for tourism for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
The US action is a return to requirements for some international travelers.
The Biden administration lifted the last of such mandates in June.
At that time, the CDC continued to recommend that people board flights to the US. get tested close to departure time and not travel if they are sick.