As COVID-19 infections surge in China, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering sampling wastewater taken from international aircraft to track any emerging new variants, the agency said.

Such a policy would offer a better solution to tracking the virus and slowing its entry into the United States than new travel restrictions announced this week by the U.S. and other countries, which require mandatory negative COVID-19 tests for travelers from China, three infectious disease experts said.

Travel restrictions, such as mandatory testing, have so far failed to significantly curb the spread of COVID-19 and function largely as optics, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota.