COVID-19 Reopening Matrix
• Some Chinese Consulates in the United States (including Los Angeles and San Francisco) are no longer issuing health declaration codes to foreign nationals holding valid work, private and reunion type residence permits unless the travel is pre-approved by the consulate under urgent or humanitarian reasons. Foreign nationals must provide the relevant documents to the consulate for special approval before booking a flight or undergoing the pre-travel COVID-19 tests. Fragomen strongly recommends checking the consulate’s requirement prior to travel and should contact their Fragomen professional if they require guidance.
• Chinese embassies in Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia are implementing stricter measures for those persons traveling to China. Travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days prior to travel and provide additional documents such as the relevant quarantine declaration form. The list of embassies requiring these measures may be expanded.
• Passengers on flights to China from these countries must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken at a designated facility within two days of boarding.
• Instead of emailing the required scanned copies of the health declaration form, test certificates and passport information to the relevant Chinese consular post, travelers must submit an Electronic Health Declaration Code (HDC) or Electronic Health Declaration Form online. Travelers are advised to check with the relevant consular post for the availability of the HDC. More information on this policy:
- Foreign nationals can submit a request to obtain an HDC code.
- Foreign nationals must present the HDC code and follow the procedures for inspection by relevant airlines during boarding.
- Individuals residing in certain areas in Tianjin and Shanghai who must leave those areas despite the domestic travel restriction must obtain a negative COVID-19 test obtained within seven days before departure. Travelers may also have to undergo a COVID-19 test after landing and may be subject to quarantine for 2 to 14 days depending on the requirements of local authorities. Travelers are advised to check with local authorities, airlines and destination hotels for more information on the specific requirements before departing the affected area.
- Individuals leaving Shanghai and Tianjin, even if they have not been to these Medium Risk Areas subject to destination city's requirements, may also be subject to additional medical and quarantine measurements as their "Travel Code" APP may show red.
• The following requirements apply to those traveling from the United States instead of the requirements above:
- Submission of the test result to the Chinese consular post in order to apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form.
- The Chinese embassy only accepts nucleic acid rt-PCR and IgM serum antibody test reports from designated laboratories.
• The following applies to passengers bound for China via a connecting flight from the United States:
- Nucleic acid and IgM anti-body test in the United States taken within 48 hours of boarding.
- Both tests must be taken a second time in the passenger's last transit country within 48 hours before boarding their plane to China.
- Passengers must apply from a Chinese consular post in both countries (the United States and the last transit country) for a green health code with the "HS" mark or must obtain a certified health declaration form with their certificates of negative results of both tests.
- Chinese passengers must upload the pictures of their negative nucleic acid and IgM antibody results to the WeChat Health Code app, which will be examined and verified by the Chinese Embassy/Consulates in the United States. They will then receive the green health code with the "HS" mark. Passengers must present the green code within its validity period to the airlines flying directly to China before boarding.
- Foreign passengers must email the scanned copies of their negative results of the nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests along with their passport information page and the signed health declaration form to the Chinese Embassy/Consulates, which will examine and verify the above information and email the certified health declaration form back to the passenger. Passengers are advised to print the form out and present it within its validity period to the airlines flying directly to China before boarding.
• The double-COVID-19 test process now applies to most passengers flying to China. Travelers should check with their immigration provider/Chinese consular post prior to travel to determine if they will be required to undergo this process. Fragomen's Global Consular teams can coordinate and support this process.
• Passengers will be denied boarding if they fail to meet relevant requirements. Passengers who provide false documents and information may face penalties.
• 14-day quarantine at a government facility for all travelers entering Guangzhou (including Hong Kong SAR residents, Macao SAR residents and residents from the Taiwan region, as well as transiting passengers). Such travelers must also undergo a COVID-19 nucleic acid test.
• International travelers entering Shanghai must undergo 14-day quarantine in government facility plus 7-day community-based health monitoring and have a COVID-19 nucleic acid test on the 1st, 4th, 7th, 14th, 16th and 21th day of arrival.
• International travelers entering Shanghai must undergo a seven-day quarantine at a government facility followed by a seven-day home quarantine if certain conditions are met. The below rules also apply:
- For those whose destinations are Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, they will be transported after seven days quarantine at a government facility in Shanghai to their destinations to continue their quarantine under the condition that their nucleic tests on the fifth day are negative.
- Those whose destinations are other parts of China will still be placed under 14-day quarantine at a government facility in Shanghai.
- Home quarantine for seniors, juveniles, pregnant women and the disabled if they test negative for COVID-19 upon entry and if they have appropriate quarantine quarters.
- Diplomats and those entering Shanghai who engage in activities designated by the government as important economic, trade, scientific research and technical activities, may be subject to specific other quarantine regulations.
- 14-day quarantine at a government facility plus 14-day home quarantine for all travelers entering Beijing, Hangzhou, Chendu. Chongqing, Nanjing, Shenyang, Ningbo and Nanning.
- 14-day quarantine at a government facility plus 7-day home quarantine for all travelers entering Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, Wuxi and Xiamen.
- 14-day quarantine at a government facility for all travelers entering Shanghai.
• Due to a travel bubble between South Korea and Mainland China, South Korean nationals re-entering Mainland China are not subject to a 14-day quarantine.
• Due to a Fast Lane agreement between Mainland China and Singapore, travelers from Singapore entering Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces must applyfor a visa prior to travel and are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement but are subject to a COVID-19 test prior to travel, followed by another test upon arrival.
• Suspension of business and tourist visa endorsements for Hong Kong SAR.
• Tourist visa endorsements for Macau SAR have reopened for Zhuhai citizens and those in Mainland China.
• Certain work authorization applications may require applicants to be in Mainland China.
• Suspension of issuance of invitation letters for dependents in most areas in China.
• China's Foreign Ministry has stated that China has withdrawn permission for the United States to establish and operate a U.S. consulate general in Chengdu.
• Foreign nationals who have received Chinese vaccines and hold a vaccination certificate may apply for a China entry visa without the requisite invitation letter.
• Travel Restrictions: Foreign nationals with valid Mainland Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters or reunion are now permitted to enter the country.
• Entry ban for foreign nationals holding valid Mainland Chinese visas or other types of residence permits issued on or before March 28, 2020 (including but not limited to APEC Business Travel Cards, port visas, foreign nationals eligible for the 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policy, Hainan 30-day visa-free policy, 15-day visa-free policy for foreign cruise-groups through Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free policy for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong SAR, or Macau SAR, Guangxi 15-day visa-free policy for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries). Foreign nationals with diplomatic, service, courtesy, or C visas are not affected by the entry ban.
• Foreign nationals entering Mainland China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese consular posts as they can no longer use a re-entry visa, as they could prior to COVID-19.
• Entry ban for foreign nationals entering from Bangladesh, India, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Russia and Italy who hold Chinese visas or residence permits issued on or before November 3, 2020. Affected travelers should contact their immigration professional for specific guidance.
• Foreign nationals in Canada who hold a valid residence permit (with the purpose of work, personal matter and reunion) issued on or before January 30, 2021 cannot return to China.
• Entry ban for foreign nationals in South Africa even those who hold a valid residence permit (with the purpose of work, personal matter and reunion). For emergencies, humanitarian and other reasons requiring travel to China, applicants must email/call the respective consular post to have pre-approval.
• International direct flights into Beijing have resumed from Austria, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Sweden, and Thailand.
• The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in South Korea have begun issuing visas to South Korean citizens to allow them to work or study in China. The following rules apply:
- Applicants holding a valid Chinese residence permit can apply for a visa in accordance with the purpose of the residence permit.
- Students can apply for a student visa with “Visa Application Form for Foreign Students to China” (JW201 or JW202 Form) and school admission notice.
- Employees without a valid residence permit can use the Notification Letter of Work Permit to apply for a Z visa.
• The Chinese Embassy in Singapore has begun issuing visas to Singapore citizens whose parent/spouse is a Chinese citizen and currently in China.
• The 'China-Japan Fast Track' has been launched to allow business travel between the two countries.
• Foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and reunion can enter China with no need to apply for a new visa. If the above three categories of residence permits held by foreign nationals expired after March 28, 2020, the holders may apply for relevant visas by presenting the expired residence permits and relevant materials to the Chinese embassies or consulates on the condition that the purpose of the holders’ visit to China remains unchanged.
• Certain areas in Tianjin and Shanghai have been identified as the COVID-19 Medium Risk Areas and individuals residing in these areas are restricted from traveling outside of Shanghai or Tianjin. If domestic travel is necessary, the traveler must carry a negative Covid-19 test obtained within seven days before departure. Travelers may be requested to take a Covid-19 test after landing and may be subject to quarantine for 2-14 days depending on requirements of the local authorities. Travelers are advised to check with local authorities, airlines and destination hotels for more information on the specific requirements before departing Shanghai or Tianjin.
• Foreign nationals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine produced in China who have a vaccination certificate can apply for a Chinese visa at Chinese consular posts in Macau SAR, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Pakistan, Israel, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Norway, Belarus, Slovakia, Malta and Gabon. The following relaxed rules also apply to the following foreign nationals:
- Foreign nationals and their family members returning to China to resume work no longer need to provide an Invitation Letter (PU), Invitation Letter (TE) or Invitation Verification Notice issued by the foreign affairs offices or the departments of commerce of the provincial (including autonomous regions and municipalities) governments or the headquarters of central state-owned enterprises.
- Foreign family members of Chinese citizens or permanent residents of China, including spouses, parents, children and other close relatives living together (siblings, grandparents and grandchildren), can now submit visa applications for the purposes of reuniting with family, taking care of elderly, visiting relatives, attending funerals or visiting critically ill relatives, whereas this entry exception was not previously available.
- Holders of valid APEC business travel cards can now apply for an M visa by presenting their original valid APEC business travel card and the invitation letter issued by the inviting party in China.
• Services as normal except in mid-high risk areas in Guangzhou.
• Most cities now require "14+7 " or "14+7+7" quarantine. 14 days at entry landing city plus 7 days home quarantine at final arrival cities plus 7 days self-monitoring.
• Vaccination: COVID-19 vaccination is available for expats since end of March in major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen. More cities will be rolling out the same arrangement.
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• Guangzhou: A neighborhood in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has been placed under lockdown as officials rushed to quell an uptick in Covid-19 cases in the area. Households in an area spanning five streets within the Liwan district have been barred from leaving their homes except for selected family members to buy daily necessities by the city government. Business as usual in Guangzhou except this Liwan district. • Shenzhen: China reported a few new cases of COVID-19 infected persons. Currently all workers in Shenzhen Yantian Port are under a very strict restrictions and control. Do expect delays in clearance process for both imports & exports air and sea shipments.
• Air: Reduced Services. Strong retail volumes are exceeding capacity alongside delays on ocean freight. Rates have increased over 20% in most markets except China.
• Sea: Yantian port back to approx. 60-70% of full operation. Rates continue to increase fortnightly with no easing in sight. Space to Europe and USA extremely critical and need to book as early as possible.
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