En De
Total doses
given
3.4B
People fully
vaccinated
1.3B
% Fully
vaccinated
89.22%
Pre-travel testing (vaccinated):
Pre-travel testing (unvaccinated):
Test on arrival (vaccinated):
Test on arrival (unvaccinated):

Full Restrictions:

01.11.2022

All travellers

British nationals need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao. Separate Travel Advice for Hong Kong can be found here.

Eligibility for visas for travel to China remains restricted. At present, visas are issued for:

  • applicants who have obtained an “Invitation Letter” or “Verification Confirmation of Invitation” issued by a provincial foreign affairs office or department of commerce (M or F visa)
  • applicants who have obtained a “Notification Letter of Foreigners Work Permit” (Z visa)
  • applicants intending to visit a family member with a Z, M, or F visa
  • applicants intending to visit a family member who is a Chinese citizen or who holds a Chinese permanent residence permit
  • applicants (including dependents) who qualify for a high-level talent (R) visa
  • applicants who qualify for a C visa

All visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 inclusive need to make their visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre. As part of the application process, biometric data (scanned fingerprints) has to be provided. The Chinese Visa Application Centres in London, Manchester and Edinburgh are operating but with limited opening hours. The Application Centre in Belfast remains closed.

Biometric data may be checked/collected by the immigration authorities when entering China to register your entry to the country.

If you’re issued a visa to travel from the UK to China in these circumstances all travellers will need to submit a Health Declaration Certificate to your nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate in the UK before you travel, who will need to certify your form and return it to you via email.

More details, including the process for submitting forms for those still eligible, can be found on the Chinese Embassy website.

It is currently not possible to apply for a visa waiver to transit through China. All travellers entering into China must comply in full with quarantine requirements; there are no exemptions to this, and transiting airside is not currently permitted

If you visit Hong Kong from the mainland of China and wish to return to the mainland, you’ll need a visa that allows you to make a second entry into China. You will also be required to comply with quarantine measures in both Hong Kong, and on your return to the mainland.

It is your responsibility to check your visa details carefully. Do not overstay your visa or work illegally. The authorities conduct regular checks and you may be fined, detained or deported (or all three).

If you remain in China longer than 6 months, you may need to get a Residence Permit.

Further details on visa requirements can be found on the Chinese Embassy website.

If you are already in China and have a visa enquiry, please contact the National Immigration Hotline: 12367 (option 2 for English).

If you’re fully vaccinated

If you’re issued a visa to travel from the UK to China all travellers will need to submit a Health Declaration Certificate to your nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate in the UK before you travel, who will need to certify your form and return it to you via email. Entry requirements for China are the same regardless of vaccination status.

More details, including the process for submitting forms for those still eligible, can be found on the Chinese Embassy website.

In order to receive a Health Declaration Certificate (HDC) from the Chinese Embassy you must provide evidence of two PCR tests for COVID-19, taken 48 hours before you travel. At least one of the tests must be taken within 24 hours of your departure. The two tests must be conducted in different testing intuitions 24 hours apart. You can use any legal testing centre that can provide a PCR test and full report. See the list of PCR testing centres.

You will not be able to receive a HDC if you have had COVID within the last 14 days. If you have previously been diagnosed with COVID, you will need to upload two additional negative nucleic acid test reports with an interval of more than 24 hours at least 14 days before the departure date.

Additional guidance on how to obtain a Health Declaration Certificate can be found on the Chinese Embassy website.

Quarantine requirements

Following health checks on arrival, you will then need to enter quarantine in a centralised facility for at least 7 days; you may be permitted complete an additional 3 days of quarantine at home , if you have suitable accommodation. In the event your accommodation is not deemed suitable, the remaining days of quarantine will be in a centralised facility. All quarantine costs will be covered by the traveller. Quarantine requirements can change at short notice and may differ between provinces.

At some points of entry, children 14 and over, will be required to quarantine alone, irrespective of whether they test positive or negative for COVID-19.

You may be separated from your child if one of you tests positive for coronavirus. Whilst we cannot prevent this, if it happens to you or is about to happen, you can call +86 (0)10 8529 6600 for 24/7 urgent consular assistance. Non-residents may be charged for their care. For further information on healthcare in China, please see the Coronavirus section.

Follow-up tests are likely to take place throughout the quarantine period. The frequency and type of testing may differ from facility to facility.. Anyone who tests positive will be moved to a designated quarantine hospital. Family members of someone who tests positive or those who have been in close contact, will likely be moved to a different quarantine facility. Family members may be split up in these circumstances. Quarantine hospital care is not covered by the Chinese government.

For all quarantine arrangements in China:

  • unless directed by the authorities, you’re not allowed to leave your designated room for the duration of your quarantine and/or home isolation. This means you’re also unable to leave China for the duration of the quarantine
  • depending on the quarantine location, facilities may be basic: there may be no fridge, no air-conditioning, and limited or no internet/wifi
  • during your stay you will be responsible for cleaning the room
  • if meals are not available at the quarantine location, you will need to arrange food orders for delivery from outside
  • larger sized families with two parents may be separated into 2 rooms.
  • if you’re on prescription medication make sure you bring enough with you to last for at least 3-4 weeks together with medical documents certifying that you need to take this medication. See Health for further information

Failure to comply with the quarantine conditions or testing put in place, or any attempts to deliberately conceal health conditions can result in being sentenced to up to three years in prison. This applies to both Chinese and foreign nationals.

After quarantine

Following quarantine, you will need to obtain a green QR health code in order to secure accommodation. In cities with lockdowns, many hotels no longer accept new guests, including those who have recently arrived into China and completed mandatory quarantine. Before arriving into China, you should ensure you have confirmed your accommodation following your mandatory quarantine . Depending on the COVID situation at the time, it can be difficult to find hotel accommodation at the end of the mandatory quarantine period

If you’re not fully vaccinated

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated must follow the requirements outlined above in applying for a Health Declaration Certificate. You must also follow the same quarantine requirements.

If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past year

Travellers who have had COVID-19 in the past year must follow the requirements outlined above in applying for a Health Declaration Certificate. You must also follow the same quarantine requirements .

You will not be able to receive a HDC if you have had COVID within the last 14 days. If you have previously been diagnosed with COVID, you will need to upload two additional negative nucleic acid test reports with an interval of more than 24 hours at least 14 days before the departure date.

Children and young people

Children aged 5 and under can be exempted for the pre-flight tests but are still required to apply for a Health Declaration Certificate. Children must also follow the same quarantine requirements.

If you’re transiting through a third country to arrive in China

Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.

Transiting through a third country to China is permitted. Travellers who are transiting through a third country should follow the rules for obtaining a Health Declaration Certificate from the Chinese Embassy of the country through which they are transiting. Check with your airline before departing.

Exemptions

There are currently no exemptions to quarantine requirements upon arrival in China.

Registering with the Chinese authorities

You must register your place of residence with the local Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival. Chinese authorities enforce this requirement with regular spot-checks of foreigners’ documentation. If you’re staying in a hotel, they will do this for you as part of the check-in process.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Working in China

You can only work in China if you have a Z visa - tourist and business visit visas do not allow you to do so. You must also hold a valid work permit. The local police regularly carry out checks on companies/schools. Violation of Chinese immigration laws can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, deportation, a travel ban preventing you from leaving China, and an exclusion order, which prevents you from returning.

Before you leave the UK you should contact the Chinese Embassy to check visa requirements. When submitting your visa application, and when you receive your work permit, check that the details are correct, including the location you’ll be working in. If they’re not, you can be detained.

If you intend to change employer once you’re in China, you should check with the Chinese authorities whether a new visa and work permit is needed before doing so.

Teaching in China

Teaching in China can be a rewarding experience, but before you travel it’s important that you research thoroughly the school or university that is hiring you and are confident that they are following the law. There have been many incidents of teachers being detained and/or deported for working on the wrong visas. It is your responsibility to check you’re working on the correct visa.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

If you are visiting China, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.

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