Last week, a Delta Air Lines aircraft from Seattle to Shanghai was diverted mid-flight due to a change in cleaning requirements at the China airport, according to the company.

Delta claimed the new restrictions would have created significant delays if it had landed in Shanghai.

According to the New York Times, which cited Chinese media accounts, several passengers on the trip were left with expired Covid-19 test results and expired US visas.

According to the Chinese Embassy in the United States, press claims claiming the jet had to turn around due to an approaching flight ban were incongruous with the facts.

Over the last week, air travel has been a big pain, with thousands of flights throughout the country being delayed or canceled due to personnel shortages and other challenges caused by the Omicron variety. According to FlightAware, more than 2,300 flights were canceled worldwide on Tuesday.

Prior to the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, China is strictly enforcing its zero-Covid policy.

Residents of Xi’an, a historic city in northwest Shaanxi province, have been forced to live in fear. This month, the 13-million-strong metropolis recorded 810 local symptomatic cases, making it one of China’s biggest outbreaks since the first wave of coronavirus infections nearly two years ago in Wuhan.