There is bipartisan support for requiring negative COVID tests for travelers from China

Linley SandersData Journalist
January 12, 2023, 4:13 PM GMT+0

As China has struggled with a surge of COVID-19 cases, the United States implemented a new rule requiring travelers from China to test negative for COVID before entering the U.S.

According to the latest Economist/YouGov poll, more than three-quarters of Americans (79%) strongly (57%) or somewhat (22%) approve of the policy change. There is bipartisan support for the testing mandate with majorities of Democrats (89%) and Republicans (79%) approving of the restriction.

Despite some COVID-19 restrictions being reintroduced for travelers, the U.S. is still experiencing the rapid spread of an Omicron subvariant called XBB.1.5. Three-quarters of Americans (75%) say they have heard about a new sub-variant of COVID-19 spreading in the U.S., but comparatively few are worried about it. Just half (48%) are worried about someone in their household catching COVID, and a majority of Americans say the worst part of the pandemic is behind us (57%). Just 15% expect the pandemic will get worse, and 9% say we are currently in the worst part of the pandemic.

With Republicans newly in charge of the U.S. House, a special investigative panel has been formed to study the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government's response to the virus. Our polling indicates that Americans have grown more convinced over time that the virus responsible for COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in China.

Six in 10 Americans (62%) say it’s at least “probably” the case that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory. An Economist/YouGov poll conducted in May 2021 with slightly different wording found that 58% of Americans believed this at the time. And, one year earlier — in May 2020 — an Economist/YouGov poll worded slightly differently found 49% of Americans believed this to be the case.

— Taylor Orth contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on January 7 - 10, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to June 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (34% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Adobe Stock (Nicholas Felix/

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