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Travel to China Advisory

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China COVID-19 Updates & Travel Advisory

Source:China COVID-19 Updates & Travel Advisory


China COVID-19 updates I Latest Developments & Travel Advisory

June 16, 2023 Latest update Planning a trip to China can sometimes pose challenges for foreign travelers due to the progressive approach taken in lifting restrictions. To provide reassurance and assistance, we have compiled a comprehensive list of Q&A regarding travel in China after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Which types of Chinese visas are currently accessible? 

As of March 2023, China has resumed the issuance of all visa types. This means that the same visa categories that were available before the pandemic are now open for application once again. Among international professionals visiting trade shows, the commonly used visa is an M type of visa, issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.
Professionals travelling to R+T Asia trade fair can obtain the invitation letter for a business visa, contact our official travel agency here

Is my 10-year Chinese visa still valid for travel?

If your multiple entry visa was issued before March 28, 2020, and is still within its validity period, it can now be utilized for travel to China once again. This includes 10-year visitor visas granted to individuals from the US and other countries. However, please note that typically, the maximum duration of stay allowed on this type of visa is 60 days. If you plan to stay in China for longer than 60 days, you will need to apply for another long-stay visa.

If your visa has expired since March 28, 2020, you will need to obtain a new visa before you can embark on your journey to China.

What are the current COVID-19 testing requirements for traveling to China?

To board a flight bound for China, it is mandatory to undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT), or a nucleic acid test (PCR) within 48 hours before departure. Starting from April 29, 2023, PCR tests are no longer obligatory, and you have the option to take a RAT at home instead.


The test result must be negative, and you are required to declare it, along with other health details, by completing the Health Declaration Form through the China Customs' WeChat mini-program, app, or website – useful links will be provided before the show.

In the event of a positive COVID-19 test, it is necessary to wait until testing negative before embarking on your journey to China.


Airlines are no longer responsible for checking COVID-19 tests prior to boarding, and there are no testing requirements upon arrival in China. However, you may be asked to present your health declaration code, which you receive after completing the health declaration form, as spot checks are conducted by border authorities.


If you exhibit any symptoms, you may be subject to additional testing. In the case of a positive test result, you will be permitted to self-isolate at your place of accommodation or seek medical assistance if necessary.

Are there any limitations on domestic travel within China?

China has lifted all restrictions on domestic travel, allowing individuals to freely travel across provincial and regional borders without the need to present negative COVID-19 test results or health codes.

It is important to note that if you enter China using a short-term transit entry permit , you are restricted from traveling outside a specific designated area, which is determined based on your port of entry.

Are there any COVID-19 precautions to consider when traveling within China?

It is advisable to take common sense prevention measures similar to those practiced in other countries, it includes regularly washing hands or using hand sanitizer, or wearing a mask in public areas.

While wearing mask is no longer mandatory on public transport and in public spaces such as restaurants, bars, stores, malls, and parks, individuals are still encouraged to wear masks voluntarily as advised by the government.

Wearing masks remains mandatory only in nursing homes, medical institutions, and if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

What are the protocols if I test positive for COVID-19 while in China? 

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result in China, you are no longer required to go to a quarantine facility.

Currently, the official guidance in China for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 is to self-isolate at home if you are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms. 

However, if you have moderate to severe symptoms, it is recommended to seek medical assistance. 

In R+T Asia's  "Easy Shanghai" guide, to be released by the end of July we will provide you with more information on medical assistance in Shanghai in case of need.


As in case of any trip abroad, it is advisable to obtain medical insurance prior to your trip to China, as public health institution staff may primarily communicate in Chinese, and private healthcare can be quite costly.


Additionally, in case of need, it is always advisable to bring the pain-killers or fever medication up usually use in your home country, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. The brands available in China may differ from those familiar to you.



Starting from April 25, 2023: PCR Test Requirements for all Inbound Travelers - removed

on April 25, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning stated that from April 25 onboard, people traveling to China will be permitted to take an antigen test 

instead of a PCR test within 48 hours of boarding. Moreover, airlines will no longer be required to check the pre-boarding COVID-19 test certificates.

PCR-test free travel for passengers from 34 coutries

According to recent announcements by Chinese embassies in several countries, air passengers traveling to China directly from 34 specific countries can now use an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) result as an alternative to the PCR test. According to our information the passengers originating from the following countries are eligible for this policy: Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Vietnam, Nepal, Tanzania, Georgia, Serbia, Azerbaijan, and Brunei

R+T Asia recommends checking the requirements directly with the flight operator you choose to travel to Shanghai.

Starting from April 1, 2023:  High-speed rail Shanghai-Hong Kong to resume

The G99 high-speed train running from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station will resume operations. The return journey, operating on the G100 train from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, will resume on April 2.

Starting form March 26, 2023: Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport resumes international flight routes

Shanhai Airport Group announces on its official WeChat account, that starting from March 26 onwards, 

Shanghai Hongqiao International airport will resume flight routes to international destinations, as well as 

Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. 11 airlines, including China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Japan Airlines, 

All Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Air Macau, China Airlines,

 and EVA Air will operate out of Terminal 1 of the airport.

The post advises passengers to check with the airline they are flying for the latest flight updates. Shanghai 

Hongqiao International Airport reopens inational flight routes, after suspension in March 2020 due to 

COVID-19 pandemic control measures. This information will make happy many of our international visitors, 

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is the closest international airport to the National Exhibition and 

Convention Center (Shanghai) where will R+T Asia 2023 will take place.

Starting form March 15, 2023: China will resume the issuance of all types of visas
Starting from March 15, 2023, China will resume issuing all types of visas to foreign nationals including the tourism visa, port visa, and multiple visa-exemption policies, ending the cross-border control measures it imposed 3 years ago in response to the pandemic.

The Chinese visa authorities abroad resumes function of multi-year multiple entry visas issued before March 28, 2020

Foreigners may apply for all types of visas, including those for tourist visa

Port visas will once again be issued in line with the relevant laws and regulations

The visa-exemption cruise policy for Shanghai, visa-exemption policy for Hainanvisa-exemption policy for foreigners to visit Guangdong from Hong Kong and Macao, and visa-exemption policy for ASEAN tour groups to Guilin and Guangxi shall resume operation

Starting form March 1, 202348-hour negative test results are no longer required for flying to China

According to notices released by Chinese Embassies in Russia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, South Africa, New Zealand, and Switzerland, from March 1, passengers taking direct flights from the local areas to China can replace 48-hour nucleic acid testing with antigen testing (including self-testing), and airlines will no longer check relevant reports. 

Passengers will only be required to complete the Health Declaration to China Customs by filling out the form either on the China Customs WeChat mini-program or at the corresponding website.

Starting form May 1, 2023: Holders of virtual APEC Business Travel Cards will enter China without applying for new visas

Chinese embassies and consulates abroad recently announced that starting from May 1st, 2023, holders of virtual APEC Business Travel Cards (ABTCs) will be able to enter China without needing to apply for new visas. The ABTC is a long-term visa provided by 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region for their citizens, which allows them to enter and exit China multiple times without applying for a visa within the card’s validity period and stay for up to 60 days each time.

February 16, 2023: Beijing declares vistory over COVID-19

During a meeting of the Communist Party of China held on February 16 was stated that China has achieved a major and conclusive triumph in battling COVID-19.

Starting from February 6, 2023: China resumes inbound and outbound group tours between the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong, Macao

On February 3, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published on its website a notice on the resumption of inbound and outbound group tours between the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong, Macao. Starting from February 6, travel agencies and online travel companies can resume their inbound and outbound group tours and “air ticket + hotel” business between the Chinese Mainland and the two special administrative regions.

Starting from February 8, 2023: China’s aviation regulator releases new version of COVID-19 technical guidelines for airlines and airports

On January 5, 2023, the Civil Aviation Adminstration of China (CAAC) released the 10th version of technical guidelines for airports and airlines , which do away with many of the previous COVID-19 prevention and control measures. Among other changes, the new guidelines remove quarantine requirements for international flight crews. The new guidelines will come into effect from January 8, 2023, the date when COVID-19 is officially downgraded to a category B infection and treated as an ordinary illness.

Starting from February 8, 2023: China provides further details on the COVID-19 management relaxation

China will no longer manage COVID-19 as a Class A infection, but rather as a Class B infection starting on January 8, 2023. On December 27, 2022, the State Council’s joint preventive and control mechanism against COVID-19 held a press conference to release information on this policy change. 

The downgrade of COVID-19 management will result in four major changes in China’s epidemic response efforts.The adjustment will shift from infection prevention to medical treatment. Instead of using techniques like mass testing, the country will identify new cases while delivering medical services and through individual patient monitoring. 

Starting from February 8, 2023: China cancels quarantine requirement on inbound travelers

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) announced of on December 26, 2023 that COVID-19 infection shall no longer be included in the administration of quarantinable infectious diseases as stipulated in the Border Health and Quarantiene Lawof the Pople's Republic of China, and starting from January 8, 2023 China will apply NO quarantaine infectious disease control measures against entry persons and goods.

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