COVID-19 Information

Country-Specific Information:

  • The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • The Department of State has upgraded our Travel Advisory for China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to novel coronavirus. Those currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means.
  • The Chinese government is taking a number of steps to try to control the spread of the virus, including mandatory quarantine for U.S. citizens entering China (see below). Those steps may vary from place to place, including 14 days of quarantine in a budget hotel at the traveler’s expense, with limited food options that may not meet the traveler’s dietary restrictions. Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of travel restrictions and quarantine fees with little or no advance notice. U.S. citizens should also be aware of local public health requirements.  Remember that while in China, U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of China.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Beijing continues to closely monitor developments related to COVID-19 in the PRC.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Effective March 28, 2020, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will temporarily suspend entry into the PRC by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits. Entry by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards will be suspended as well. Policies including port visas, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policy, Hainan 30-day visa-free policy, 15-day visa-free policy specified for foreign cruise-group-tour through Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong or Macao SAR, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free policy specified for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries will also be temporarily suspended. Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates.
  • American Citizens should expect a significant reduction in flights to and from China. Per Chinese aviation authorities, starting March 29, 2020, foreign airlines will be required to maintain only one air route to China and operate no more than one flight per week. Chinese domestic airlines are also expected to further reduce available routes per guidelines. Flights to and from China should carry no more than 75 percent of the passengers that they are licensed to carry. American citizens planning to depart China should expect a significant drop in the number of options and frequency of flights to the U.S. and should plan accordingly.
  • All international flights into Beijing have been rerouted to regional airports for screening and quarantine, which is mandatory for U.S. citizens entering China (see below). Other airports in China may have different procedures, which may change without notice.  These procedures are not being implemented in a uniform manner. Travelers should reach out to airlines or local authorities on specific policies and should be prepared for potentially long delays when entering and exiting China.
  • In the event that the situation further deteriorates, the ability of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to U.S. nationals within China may be limited.  The United States is not offering chartered evacuation flights from China at this time.
  • Chinese authorities have imposed strict travel restrictions in the area around Wuhan. Travelers should be aware that the Chinese government could prevent them from entering or exiting parts of Hubei province.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.

Quarantine Information:

  • All travelers, including U.S. citizens who enter China will be screened upon arrival and be subject to a 14-day quarantine.  Local quarantine requirements can vary significantly between cities and regulations can change very quickly.  All arrivals should be prepared to complete quarantine at a government selected facility or hotel at their own expense, with no control over the amenities, even if they maintain a residence in China.  Some Chinese cities and provinces, including Beijing, also require quarantine for all domestic travelers, regardless of nationality.  U.S. citizens may also be required to install and use location tracking software on their phones in order to access public spaces and some businesses.  Some private hospitals may refuse admittance to travelers who have been in the United States 14 days prior to entering China. Please consult local authorities on specific quarantine requirements.
  • It is likely that the local authorities will not notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of your quarantine.  If you are placed into quarantine, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate with your name, passport number, and location.
  • We strongly urge U.S. citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings. Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home.
  • U.S. citizens remaining in China should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chinese health authorities’ guidance for prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment.

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