China Travel Restrictions 2021, Entry & Quatantine Policy, Travel Advisory  (Updated April 1st, 2021)
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China Travel Restrictions 2021, Entry & Quatantine Policy, Travel Advisory (Updated April 1st, 2021)

By Chris QuanUpdated Apr. 13, 2021

With vaccinations and a decline in COVID-19 cases worldwide, China’s efforts to control the pandemic may relax: China may open its borders in October this year.

We will continue to update China’s inbound tourism policy and domestic travel restrictions in this article. If you want to plan a trip to China, feel free to contact us for free consultation or join our Facebook group to get our latest information.

Foreign nationals currently in China can travel in China as long as they have the required documents including ID (usually passport) and a green health code.

Foreign nationals in China now can make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. For example, in Shanghai, foreign people can make the appointment on the App: 健康云 (Health Cloud) from March 29th, 2021. 

Latest news about Thailand's tourism: Phuket is expected to open to vaccinated international visitors on July 1. Learn about Thailand's travel requirements.  Contact us if you are planning a Phuket trip.

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When Will China Open Its Borders?

China may open its borders to visitors in October 2021 according to current trends:

We will continue to monitor China's entry policy and update you as soon as the latest official news is issued.

You could join our Facebook group for the latest information. 

Can I Travel to China Now?

Possibly. Foreign nationals can travel to China now if they meet one of the following requirements:

We suggest purchasing your ticket to China after you confirm that your visa application was successful.

How Can I Appy for a New Visa

You can apply for a new visa at your nearest Chinese consulate/embassy/VAC (Visa Application Center) to enter China for the following three purposes (documents listed are for reference only).

The new visa may only be valid for three months. Upon arrival it may change to a 30-day visa during which time you need to apply for another residence permit.

1. For Work (Z Visa)

To apply, you’ll need:

Latest news: Starting from 15 March 2021, Foreign nationals and their family members visiting the mainland of China for resuming work and production in various fields need only to provide the documents required before the COVID-19 pandemic when applying for a visa. No need for an "Invitation Letter (PU/TE).

You need to have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines produced in China (either having received two doses of Chinese-made vaccines with the stipulated gap in between, or having received a single-dose Chinese-made vaccine at least 14 days prior to the application) and obtained the vaccination certificate.

2. For Business (M Visa)

To apply, you’ll need:

Latest news: Starting from 15 March 2021, holders of valid APEC business travel cards may apply for the M visa by presenting the original valid APEC business travel card and the invitation letter issued by the inviting party in the mainland of China.

You need to have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines produced in China (either having received two doses of Chinese-made vaccines with the stipulated gap in between, or having received a single-dose Chinese-made vaccine at least 14 days prior to the application) and obtained the vaccination certificate.

3. For a Family Visit (Q1, Q2 Visa)

To apply, you’ll need:

Contacting Consular/Visa Services to Confirm

In this pandemic period, visa application requirements may change according to the COVID-19 situation. We suggest you email your consulate/embassy/VAC, who will advise whether you can apply for a visa according to your situation,  what kind of visa you can apply for, and the specific procedures. The following are examples of consular contact information.

You can join our Facebook group to get more information about going to China.

What Documents to Prepare before Boarding

If you succeed in applying for a visa, then you should prepare these documents before boarding your flight:

How to Get an HDC or HDF

When boarding the flight, the test certificates and the HDF/HDC needs to be presented to the airline staff.

Quarantining in China

hotelYou will be required to be quarantined in a designated hotel.

Passengers (whether or not you have the COVID-19 vaccine) are required to be quarantined for 14 days at an assembly site.

Upon arrival, you will fill out a Declaration of Health, have your body temperature measured, and have a nucleic acid test at the airport.

You will be sent to a hotel assigned by the government directly from the airport.

The expenses during the quarantine period are normally about CN¥400–600 (for board and lodging) per day in the hotel and at your own cost.

Can I Choose the Hotel for Quarantine?

The quarantined hotels are assigned by the government. In general, you can't choose among the designated quarantined hotels.

If you're traveling with family or a partner, you could ask the staff to help arrange your quarantine in the same hotel.

Can Couples Stay in One Room?

It depends on each hotel’s requirements. Some hotels allow couples or families to live in one room, while some require each person to stay in a single room. (In general, children under the age of 14 can be quarantined with a parent.)

You can only know the specific requirements when you arrive at the hotel.

What if the City I Enter is not My Final Destination?

Passengers are required to be quarantined in their entry city.

For example, if you enter China at Guangzhou from Sydney on your way to Beijing, you should quarantine in Guangzhou for 14 days. After your 14-day quarantine in Guangzhou (if your quarantine test results are normal), you could then head to Beijing.

When you arrive in Beijing, usually you wouldn’t need to carry out a 14-day quarantine again, but 7-day home quarantine and 7-day health monitoring (a total of 14 days) may be required. Every city has slightly different requiremets.

Can I Travel Around When the 14-Day Quarantine Ends?

When the quarantine is over and all test results are normal, you will receive a negative nucleic acid test result and a certificate of release from centralized quarantine.

Then you could go on to your residence or another hotel. You would need to report to the community/hotel and follow their quarantine requirements (normally home quarantine or health monitoring) for a further 7 days.

Inter-area/province travel may require extra quarantining, depending on local infection rates.

After finishing all quarantine requirements and being based in a certain area, you may live, work, and travel normally.

China’s Domestic Travel Restrictions

Foreign people now in China can travel in China as long as they have the required documents including ID (usually passport) and a green health code.

Now all areas in China are in low risk.You don't need to be quarantined for an inter-area/province travel in China.

Where Can I Travel?

Most cities are open and can be visited except for parts of Ganzi and Aba Autonomous Prefectures.

What Do I Need to Travel?

Every city has slightly different requirements.

Because all areas in China now are in low risk, travelers only need to prepare a green health code, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Huangshan, and Yunnan.

Contact us if you want to plan a trip in China.

Recommended spring trips in China:

A Professional Travel Agency Can Help a Lot

With the frequent changing of regulations as different regions react to the pandemic situation, having a professional local tour company, like us, in charge of your itinerary and transportation can be a safeguard for your trip. We will:

Are There International Flights to China?

Yes, flights are available to China from Los Angeles, New York, London, Vancouver, Paris, Frankfurt, Sydney, and over 20 other cities, but they are very limited, for example:

You could find more information about the flights to China and book tickets on the websites of China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines,  Air China or other airlines.

In order to relieve the pressure of Beijing's airports, some international flights to Beijing will stop/transfer at Tianjin, Xi'an, Wuhan and other cities. In this case, you just need to cooperate with the airport's medical testing, after that, you can continue to fly to Beijing.

We Recommend a Direct Flight to China

If there are direct flights from your nearest city to China, we suggest you choose one of those flights in preference. It is the best and safest way, COVID-wise.

If your country has direct flights that are not from your nearest city, you are recommended to fly (travel) to that city and take a flight from there, rather than taking an international transfer.

For example, if you are heading to Beijing from Boston, you could fly to Los Angeles first and take the required tests and get a certified HDF/HDC (explained above) there, then take a flight to Beijing.

Transfers in a Third Country

Some airports still don’t allow international transfers even though travel agencies still sell tickets for them. So, you should check with the airline. 

Some airports allow international transfers. Passengers need to have the COVID-19 nucleic acid and IgM serum antibody tests at the transit airport and so must leave enough transit time to get the results (at least 10 hours) before going on to China.

After getting the results, submit them online and you will get an HDC or HDF (explained in the “What Documents to Prepare” section above). Then you can board the plane.

An example of an airport that has been processing international transfers to China is Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport. You could check out specific transfer requirements for and book a test at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport here.

However, many airports don’t have facilities for nucleic acid testing. You will not be able to transfer via such airports to China. Thus, we don’t recommend transferring via a third country. If you have to, you should check the transfer rules and facilities of the airport you will transfer at.

For more information about going to China, join our Facebook group.

Are There Any Other Asian Countries Open for Traveling?

Thailand — Partially Open to International Tourists

From 1st July, fully vaccinated travellers can visit the island of Phuket without any quarantine requirements. Contact us to book a trip.

Travel requirements:

Entry requirements:

From 1st October, fully vaccinated travellers can visit 6 provinces in Thailand without any quarantine requirements: Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga, Koh Samui, Chonburi (Pattaya), and Chiang Mai.

Travel requirements:

Entry requirements:

Contact us if you want to visit Thailand. Our travel advisor will give you profesional travel suggetions.

Sri Lanka — Open to International Tourists

Japan — Entry Prohibited

Vietnam — Entry Restricted

Laos — Entry Prohibited

Cambodia — Entry Prohibited

Singapore — Partially Restricted

India — Partially Restricted

Indonesia — Entry Prohibited

Malaysia — Partially Restricted

Myanmar — Entry Prohibited

Tour China with Us

We have been in the China travel industry for over 20 years, and we have lots of experience with handling situations such as viral outbreaks and natural disasters. It is important to us that you feel comfortable and safe during your visit and we will respect any requests or decisions you make regarding your travels.

All our tours can be customized. We can create an ideal China trip for you based on your group size, time, budget, interests, preferences, and other requirements. Contact us.

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