Health Alert: U.S. Consulate General Chengdu, People’s Republic of China (April 30, 2020)

Health Alert: U.S. Consulate General Chengdu, People’s Republic of China (April 30, 2020)

Location: People’s Republic of China

Event: There is an ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The global public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, with 3,167,448 reported cases worldwide as of April 29, 2020.

Reduced Travel Options: American Citizens should expect a significant reduction in flights to and from China.  Per Chinese aviation authorities, starting March 29, 2020, foreign airlines are allowed 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.

Chinese Visas & Duration of Stay: Chinese visa holders, please note that the U.S. Department of State is not currently aware of any blanket extensions due to COVID-19.  Please also note that if you overstay your visa in China, you may be detained and/or fined.  If you think that an overstay is possible given flight changes/cancellations, you should reach out to the Exit & Entry Administration of the local Public Security Bureau to request an extension.

Suspended Entry: Effective March 28, 2020, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) temporarily suspended entry into the PRC by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits.  Entry by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards was 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 were also 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.

State/Local Government Actions: Travelers who are able to enter China despite the March 28 travel suspensions should note the following: Local screening and quarantine requirements can vary significantly, and regulations can change very quickly.  All U.S. citizens who enter China will be screened upon arrival and be subject to a 14-day quarantine.  All arrivals should be prepared to complete quarantine at a government selected facility or hotel at their own expense, even if they maintain a residence in China or are traveling domestically.  Please consult local authorities on specific quarantine requirements.  These quarantine measures are not consistent across China and submitting to them is mandatory.  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.

Temporary Suspension of Full-Validity Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad: The U.S. Department of State has announced that customers with routine passport or citizenship service after April 2, 2020, should expect significant delays in receiving passports (including books and cards) and/or citizenship evidence documents (such as Consular Reports of Birth Abroad) due to the COVID-19 epidemic.  No date has been specified on when normal delivery will resume.  If you have already applied for one of the above services, we will inform you right away when your passport/citizenship evidence document has arrived.  Meanwhile, Consulates can locally print an emergency limited-validity (1-year) passport in lieu of the full-validity passport should you have an urgent need (for example, to renew a Chinese visa or for emergency travel).  If you have any questions, contact information for American Citizen Services Units is included below.

Actions to Take:

  • Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
  • For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
  • Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
  • Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in China.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S.
  • Be aware you may be subject to quarantine for an undetermined period of time if you plan to travel to China.

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