Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Beijing, People’s Republic of China (March 27, 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 529,591 reported cases worldwide as of March 27, 2020.
Suspended Entry: 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.
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 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.
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.
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.