Authorities in China will require passengers on interprovincial flights, trains and buses and ferries to obtain a negative PCR test result within 48 hours before departure from September 10 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People staying in a hotel or guesthouse or visiting tourist sites must have a negative PCR test result obtained within the previous 72 hours. The National Health Commission has also recommended that interprovincial travelers undergo a PCR test upon arrival at their destination and limit travel between cities, although those policies are not mandatory.
The government will also require a 48-hour negative test result to attend large gatherings such as conferences and exhibitions; official advice indicates that such events should be necessary and large-scale events are likely to be cancelled. The testing requirements will remain in place until at least October 31.
China continues to implement a zero COVID strategy across the country. Officials are imposing stay-at-home measures, entry and exit controls, non-essential business closures, and public transportation suspensions in areas with COVID-19 activity. Authorities can implement lockdowns at short notice, disrupting healthcare and essential services, including food deliveries.
Some local governments are conducting mass testing campaigns for residents as a precaution and require people to present a negative COVID-19 test result to take public transport and enter airports, train stations and subway stations, regardless of the level of risk. Local officials may prohibit interprovincial travel to and from cities and provinces with medium and high risk areas. Provincial and municipal governments are likely to ban the entry of people who have been to places with COVID-19 cases in the past seven days and may require arriving or departing travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test result. which is usually taken within 24-48 hours. Transportation operators in almost every major city require riders to share health code information before boarding public transportation. Officials require masks on public transport. Depending on the severity of COVID-19 activity, authorities could halt public transportation, including air travel, and restrict residents’ access to cities where outbreaks are occurring.
The central government classifies districts and neighborhoods as high, medium or low risk areas based on COVID-19 activity. People who reside in or have a history of recent travel to high- and medium-risk areas face restrictions on travel, movement and gathering. Authorities have locked down specific communities in these locations, requiring residents to stay home and undergo multiple rounds of COVID-19 testing. Officials may allow some people to leave affected communities with a negative COVID-19 test result. Security personnel will continue to erect roadblocks and checkpoints along routes to designated high- and medium-risk areas; Localized transportation and business disruptions are almost certain in affected areas.
The lockdown measures have led to factory closures and business interruption. However, local officials may allow businesses to operate under a closed-loop system where employees live, work and undergo routine testing on site. Despite central government directives to ensure cargo movement and logistics, local authorities may continue to close highways or impose entry and exit controls during COVID-19 outbreaks. Supply chain delays and increased port processing times could occur in places with strict COVID-19 measures.
International travel restrictions
The government continues to bar entry to most foreign nationals. However, foreigners with valid Chinese residence permits for long-term study, APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) holders, people traveling at the invitation of provincial or municipal governments, and some family members of foreign employees with emergency humanitarian needs can apply to enter the country. Authorities also allow foreign nationals fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines produced in the United States or China to apply for work, business or humanitarian visas. Diplomatic staff and C visa holders, generally flight and ship crew, are exempt from the entry bans.
Essential business travel from Singapore, South Korea, and the US can be made through fast-track agreements to specific cities and municipalities. Businesses or government agencies can apply for special passes for incoming visitors, who must test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of leaving Singapore or 72 hours before leaving South Korea and obtain a visa. . Passengers must be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and self-isolate at designated facilities until results are available. Travelers from Singapore must also adhere to a pre-planned itinerary, refrain from using public transportation, except private rental vehicles, for the first 14 days, and download and use a health pass while in mainland China. Passengers who arrive with a positive result for COVID-19 will undergo treatment at their own expense.
Authorities require most incoming passengers to take a PCR test within 48 hours of boarding, another PCR test within 12 to 24 hours before departure, depending on their location, and additional COVID tests. -19 in each country in which they transit. Shorter testing windows may apply at some locations, and officials may require passengers from certain locations to take an additional PCR test 72 hours prior to departure. Authorities could modify testing requirements for participants at short notice; The respective Chinese missions will update the country-specific rules. The government prohibits most travelers, except freight carriers, from using land border crossings; Delays in the transport of goods are still possible at border control points.
All authorized passengers must apply for a health certificate through the local Chinese diplomatic mission. Authorities have tightened health certificate requirements for some countries, including the US, allowing travelers to China to use transit flights. Chinese citizens must update their information through WeChat to obtain a health code before boarding flights. The government continues to conduct health screenings on arrival, including body temperature scans and nucleic acid tests. International arrivals to some locations, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Qingdao, may be subject to mandatory anal COVID-19 testing. Most international travelers must quarantine for seven days at government-designated facilities at their own expense, undergo regular testing, receive a negative result before being released from quarantine, and undergo an additional three days of self-quarantine.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) manages the flight volume of international airlines based on the results of COVID-19 tests for passengers. Authorities could suspend a carrier’s route at short notice if more than five passengers test positive for COVID-19. Chinese and US regulators continue to limit available outbound flights. Authorities also restrict Chinese airlines’ international operations and passenger capacity on planes. Some airlines continue to suspend services to and from mainland China due to significant declines in demand. Land borders are prone to closures and processing delays during periods of increased disease activity.
Consider postponing non-essential travel to mainland China. Confirm all scheduled international flights. Check with Chinese airlines and diplomatic facilities for details on restrictions prior to any travel. Follow all official instructions and closely follow official announcements about any other precautionary restrictions. Confirm all travel and business reservations. Please allow additional travel time due to screening at airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs. Be aware of potential business interruptions.
Beijing Capital International Airport
Shanghai Airport Authority
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
World Health Organization