The U.S. is expected to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions from China very soon, though an exact date for the changes has not yet been announced.
The move comes amid a decline in COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and more data obtained around variants that were prevalent in China, according to CNN.
Since January 5, the U.S. has required all travelers from China to show a negative COVID test before entering the country, according to the CDC.
This measure was enacted due to a reported uptick in COVID-19 cases in China following the end of the country’s zero-COVID policy, paired with a “lack of transparency” from China regarding the number of COVID cases it has reported, according to the Washington Examiner.
The decision comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping accused the United States on Monday of trying to “contain, encircle, and suppress” China, The Washington Post reported.
The origin of the COVID-19 virus has also come back into focus after FBI Director Christopher Wray reignited the lab leak debate, telling Fox News that he believes the virus likely originated from a lab in Wuhan and not from natural causes.
“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan,” Wray told Fox News. “Here we’re talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab that killed millions of Americans.”
“I will just make the observation that the Chinese government, it seems to me, has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work here — the work that we’re doing, the work that our U.S. government and close foreign partners are doing — and that’s unfortunate for everybody.”
The FBI is still investigating the origin of COVID-19, Wray said.
According to the Washington Examiner, the situation in China will be closely monitored, and the travel policy adjusted as needed.