China – Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the Macau SAR, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, and COVID-19-related restrictions. See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction below. Access to medical care, including treatment in hospitals and ambulance service, may be delayed or limited. Commercial transportation options are available. Exercise increased caution in the PRC due to wrongful detentions.
The U.S. government is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and may change this guidance again quickly in response to emergent concerns. Please check back frequently for any changes.
Quarantine and Testing
PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR travel, quarantine, and testing requirements and COVID-19 response measures may change or vary across locations.
All travelers to mainland PRC should prepare to be tested for COVID-19 and to quarantine at a government-designated location upon arrival. Travelers to Macau will be required to quarantine in a designated hotel for five days. While in quarantine, health authorities will test travelers as often as daily for COVID-19 and will not permit travelers to leave their rooms. Travelers who test positive during this quarantine time may be transferred to a government-designated medical facility. Standards of care, accommodations, testing, and treatments may differ considerably from standards in the United States, including the possibility of unsanitary or crowded conditions, substandard or limited access to food, and delayed access to medical treatment.
Even after completing any quarantine on arrival, travelers to the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, may face additional quarantines, mandatory testing, limited access to medical services, and a constrained supply of medications due to heavy demand as COVID-19 spreads. In some cases, children in the PRC and the Hong Kong SAR who test positive on arrival have been separated from their parents and kept in isolation until they meet local hospital discharge requirements.
In areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases, restrictions may include being confined at home or moved to a government-designated quarantine facility or hospital.
Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in the mainland areas of the PRC, or the Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau’s COVID-19 page for information on the COVID-19 situation in the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
The Department does not provide direct medical care to private U.S. citizens abroad. U.S. citizens overseas may receive PRC-approved vaccine doses where they are eligible.
The PRC government has not authorized the use of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccines in China, including the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson products commonly found in the United States. It has conditionally authorized twelve PRC-made vaccines; these are available to any foreign national residing in China. The two most commonly available, Sinopharm and Sinovac, have not yet received approval by the FDA. Sinopharm and Sinovac have received approval for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, a bivalent mRNA vaccine by Fosun Pharma/BioNTech is available to residents. The wait time for this mRNA vaccine in Macau is over one month long. Please contact local health authorities for information on available vaccines.
Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
Although the use of lockdowns is no longer widely practiced, they, including in the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, may still occur with little notice. Lockdowns may last for extended periods and officials may instruct people not to leave specific districts, compounds, or residences. Officials may require people to transfer to a quarantine facility. Due to the spread of COVID-19 and its effect on the workforce, groceries, deliveries, and public transportation may be disrupted. Hospitals may have long lines, become overloaded, or restrict services. Travelers should have sufficient water, food, and medication on hand.
Country Summary: The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including carrying out wrongful detentions and using exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without fair and transparent process under the law.
The Department has determined that at least one U.S. national is wrongfully detained by the PRC government.
U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens in the PRC may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law.
Foreigners in the PRC and the Hong Kong SAR, including but not limited to businesspeople, former foreign government personnel, and journalists have been unjustly interrogated and detained by PRC officials for alleged violations of PRC national security laws. The PRC has also interrogated, detained, and expelled U.S. citizens living and working in the PRC.
Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau SAR governments.
In addition, the PRC government has used restrictions on travel or departure from the PRC, or so-called exit bans, to:
- compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations,
- pressure family members of the restricted individual to return to the PRC from abroad,
- resolve civil disputes in favor of PRC citizens, and
- gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.
In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of an exit ban when they attempt to depart the PRC, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to find out how long the ban might continue or to contest it in a court of law. Relatives, including minor children, of those under investigation in the PRC, may become subject to an exit ban.
The PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments do not recognize dual nationality. U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments may prevent the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General from providing consular services.
XINJIANG UYGHUR AUTONOMOUS REGION and TIBET AUTONOMOUS REGION
Extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
Since the imposition of the National Security Law on June 30, 2020, the PRC unilaterally and arbitrarily exercises police and security power in the Hong Kong SAR. The PRC has demonstrated an intention to use this authority to target a broad range of activities it defines as acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign entities. The National Security Law also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong residents or organizations outside of Hong Kong, which could subject U.S. citizens who have been publicly critical of the PRC to a heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution. PRC security forces, including the new Office for Safeguarding National Security, now operate in the Hong Kong SAR and are not subject to oversight by the Hong Kong judiciary.
Demonstrations: Participating in demonstrations or any other activities that authorities interpret as constituting an act of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with a foreign country could result in criminal charges. U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations.
Propaganda: A PRC propaganda campaign has falsely accused individuals, including U.S. citizens, of fomenting unrest in the Hong Kong SAR. In some cases, the campaign has published their personal information, resulting in threats of violence on social media.
If you decide to travel to the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR:
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, read the Embassy COVID-19 page for the PRC and the Consulate General COVID-19 page for the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR for specific COVID-19 information.
- For the Hong Kong SAR, monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
- Avoid demonstrations.
- Exercise caution in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
- Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep a low profile.
- For the Hong Kong SAR, review your Hong Kong flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website.
- Enter the PRC on your U.S. passport with a valid PRC visa and keep it with you.
- If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately.
- If you plan to enter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), read the DPRK Travel Advisory. Travelers should note that U.S. passports are not valid for travel to, in, or through the DPRK, unless they are specially validated by the Department of State.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the U.S. Embassy on Twitter, WeChat, and Weibo. Follow U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for the PRC, the Hong Kong SAR, and the Macau SAR.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.