china reopening for tourists internationally

China is open only to nationals, residents or special visa holders

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

China is currently open for national citizens and foreign nationals with valid residence permits and some special types of visas. All arrivals must agree to a 28-day quarantine called (14+7+7) and 4 COVID-19 PCR tests.  

Travelers arriving from countries where new strains of the virus have been discovered, such as the U.K. and South Africa, must take 4 nucleic acid tests. Their household members will be also required to take said tests. 

China Reopening Borders – Newest Update

China

February 8

In order to avoid new outbreaks, the country has started a new health management procedure called “14+7+7“.

This includes a 14-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel, plus a 7-day quarantine at home in addition to another 7 days of daily health monitoring.  Over the course of the quarantine, both visitors and their household members will be required to take 4 COVID-19 tests.

Vaccination Rollout 

China has approved his own domestic coronavirus vaccine for commercial use. So far the country has fully vaccinated 12 million citizens. That means at most, only 0.8% of China’s population received the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Update – December 

The Chinese government has suspended all visas and restricted the entry of foreign nationals to its territory (except for those with working, family reunification or personal matters legal permits). 

This resolution is still in place and there hasn’t been an announcement on when it would end. 

All incoming travelers need to go into quarantine for 14 days and, in some regions, there is an additional 7-day self-isolation period at home

Update – November

The Chinese government has announced that stranded foreigners who are stuck outside China may still apply for visas at Chinese Embassy or Consulates in case of emergency. (See above who are affected by the travel ban).

China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry of non-Chinese nationals, and even Chinese visa and resident permit holders from Bangladesh, Belgium, Ethiopia, France, India, Italy, Philippines, Russia, the UK, and Ukraine, according to their Chinese embassies.

COVID-19 Situation in China

According to the World Health Organization, the country has managed to control the pandemic. As of today, the country has reported 101,316 positive cases and 4,831 deaths. 

These figures come from the China Authorities and it is difficult to contrast them with other sources.

COVID-19 situation in China

Is China open for tourism?

No. Only a very select group of foreign visitors are allowed. 

How to obtain a visa?

China

It is not enough to have a passport that is current and has at least six months left prior to expiring. 

Travelers must also apply for an official permit (or a visa) with the Chinese Embassy in their native country and prove to have compelling reasons for travelling.

DO NOT TRAVEL TO CHINA WITHOUT A VISA. Anyone who tries to enter China right now with just a passport and no proper visa may be arrested, deported, or refused access. 

Who is affected by China’s latest travel ban?

Basically, almost everyone who is not a Chinese national. 

Foreign nationals visiting China for emergency reasons should still apply for special entry visas.

Restrictions upon arrival

All visitors must have:

  • Proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken no more than 48hours before departure
  • Undergo a 28-day quarantine upon arrival
  • Valid VISA or residence permit

Not allowed to “Just Pass Through” either

Passengers on planes from other countries that are not allowed entry into China because of the travel ban against certain countries may not treat China as a “just passing through” country, even when travelers are in an airport. 

Keep this in mind if you need to take a connecting flight to get to another Asian or Pacific country.

Single flights

China airlines

Another important fact about flying in and out of China is that it intends to stick with singular flights in and out of the country.

What this means is that a plane may bring you into the country, but your next flight out is the only flight out until the following week, two weeks, or more. 

The idea, of course, is to restrict as much influx of foreigners into China and track any cases of COVID that may result from each plane coming in and the passengers on that plane. 

This method of disease tracking is relatively smart, but it does complicate travel plans, even for dignitaries and the like. Plan to stay for some time, and then book well in advance for your flight out since single plane flights are all that you will find for a while.

Is it safe to visit China now?

According to the CDC, China is a very safe place to visit and the risk is very low. The warning level is only at 1. (CDC.gov)

Current mask requirement

Health authorities in China’s capital Beijing have been lifting the requirement for people to wear masks outdoors after the city reported several consecutive days without new cases.

This may change with no prior notice. 

Related:
Is Hong Kong Open for Tourism? – All You Need to Know
Is Taiwan Open for Tourism?
– Check out the full list of Asian countries reopening for tourism