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Beijing Virtual Town Hall Key Information
May 6, 2022

Beijing Virtual Town Hall Key Information

U.S. Embassy Beijing hosted two Virtual Town Halls for U.S. Citizens in the Beijing consular district on May 4 and 5, 2022, to provide information on the developing COVID-19 health control measures situation.  Below is a summary of key topics covered.

Stay Informed

  • Everyone should register in STEP at https://step.state.gov/. This is the easiest way to ensure you get the most up-to-date security information.

Vital Records

  • Now is a good time to make sure your travel documents are valid and up to date. Make an appointment to renew your U.S. passport if it is expired or will expire soon.  We recently launched a new online passport renewal service for citizens living in China age 16 and older.
  • Reach out to your local Exit-Entry Bureau now to renew your visa, work/residence permit, or your child’s travel document if they are expired or will expire soon. You can contact them directly at: (area code) + 12367.

Quarantine Conditions

  • We are always available to American Citizens in an emergency, 24 hours a day. If you are not able to make your concerns known to the authorities, we may be able to assist you.  However, medical practices and standards of care in PRC medical facilities may differ considerably from what you expect in the United States.
  • As an American citizen in the PRC, you are under the laws of the PRC, including their laws on health and epidemic control measures. The U.S. and the PRC have a treaty on consular services and one of the features is the right for American Citizens in the PRC to communicate with consular officers.

Food and Water

  • Our top priority is ensuring that U.S. citizens have access to their basic food and water needs. If you have problems obtaining food due to supply interruptions, your neighborhood committee can help.  If you cannot reach your local neighborhood committee for assistance and your family is running low on food, contact the embassy so that we can help you access the local services you need.
  • If access to bottled water becomes unavailable, boiling water will kill most pathogenic bacteria and viruses. It will not, however, destroy contaminants such as heavy metals, salts, and other chemicals.  The EPA has instructions  here.

Medical Treatment

  • We are engaged on the issue of ensuring every U.S. citizen has access to emergency medical treatment and necessary medications.  If you are not able to access emergency medical treatment or get necessary medications, please email us at BeijingACS@state.gov or call +86-10-8531-4000.
  • Several American citizens ran out of prescription medication during the lockdown in Shanghai and contacted us for assistance. We have been able to assist these individuals by connecting them with some options.  However, it would be best if you make sure you have at least a 90-day supply of every prescription medicine you take now, just in case it is more difficult to access later.

Parent-Child Separation

  • We have seen cases in other parts of China where U.S. citizen children who test positive have been separated from their parents and kept in isolation. We have not seen cases of this in our consular district, likely a result of the still relatively low number of positive cases.  We are as deeply concerned about the issue of parent-child separation as you are.
  • If you experience being separated from your child due to COVID quarantine measures, please email us at BeijingACS@state.gov or call +86-10-8531-4000. We will make every effort to assist in individual cases.  The embassy has extremely limited ability to intervene in local quarantine or pandemic-control measures.  Ultimately it is determined by Chinese public health authorities.

Exiting China

  • Commercial flights out of China remain available, including international flights out of Beijing. Contact us if you have an emergency requiring international travel and health control measures prevent you from accessing your travel.
  • The CDC website says, “Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before travel.” It is our understanding that this refers to a calendar day.  There is also an option for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.  However, please check with your airline as each airline may have specific rules.

Travel with Pets

  • We recommend you have backup plans for the care of your pets if you are departing the country and are not able to complete necessary steps to bring your pet with you. Unfortunately, we cannot assist individuals making travel arrangements for pets.

Vaccine Requests

  • The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. Citizens overseas. The Centers for Disease Control has determined that for travel to the United States, FDA approved and World Health Organization authorized vaccines listed here will be accepted.  For questions on interactions between different COVID vaccines please consult your health provider.