Can I travel to China? The travel restrictions explained


Since 2020, China’s zero-Covid coverage has prevented nearly all of Chinese residents from having the ability to travel overseas — and lots of foreigners from visiting the nation to work or research. But on December 26, 2022, the nation introduced that travel restrictions could be relaxed from 2023.

The nation dropped its entry necessities for inbound guests on January 8; these on a piece or travel visa, or visiting household, now not want to isolate on arrival. Instead, they’re required to provide a unfavorable Covid take a look at taken no less than 48 hours earlier than departure and put on masks on planes. And from March 15, visas for vacationers will resume too, whereas locations with a visa-free transit coverage can even reinstate these.

Main photograph: illuminated Lijiang Old Town at nightfall (Getty Images)

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China (Getty Images)

What are the entry necessities?

China began issuing vacationer visas once more on March 15, 2023, the primary time it has accomplished this since 2020. It has additionally reinstated visa-free standing to locations reminiscent of Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Tianjin, Chengdu, Xiamen, Kunming, and Guangzhou. UK passport holders to these locations are ready to enter the nation for a restricted time frame with out having to acquire a visa prior to travel, offered they fulfill sure standards reminiscent of solely coming into and exiting the nation by way of specified airports.

Any beforehand issued visas which are nonetheless legitimate have additionally been restored, that means those that have already got a visa is not going to want to acquire a brand new one.

Do I want to take a take a look at to enter?

You will want a Covid take a look at taken inside 48 hours of departure to enter the nation. There are completely different guidelines for coming into Hong Kong, which is already open to guests. All passengers due to land in China will probably be required to put on a masks on the aircraft. 

Note that you simply’ll additionally want to be examined earlier than returning to the UK on a direct or oblique flight from China. The UK authorities requires a pre-travel Covid take a look at to be accomplished inside the two days earlier than departure and this may be both a PCR or a lateral move take a look at. This requirement will probably be scrapped from 11:59pm on April 4. If you’re due to arrive again within the UK round then, the Foreign Office has suggested that it is best to test together with your airline concerning whether or not a take a look at is required. There could also be completely different guidelines when you’re transiting via one other nation.

A traveller and staff wear face masks at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
A traveller and workers put on face masks at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (Getty Images)

When will China reopen for vacationers?

Tourist visas are being reissued from March 15, however it could take a while to get an appointment and for the processing to happen. In principle when you’re travelling to one of many visa-free locations, you possibly can enter the nation immediately.

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