China Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
January 11, 2023

China - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

O D K E N H U T C

Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and arbitrary enforcement of local laws.  See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction below. Access to medical care, including treatment in hospitals and ambulance service, may be delayed or limited.  Commercial transportation options for international departure and arrival are available. Exercise increased caution in the PRC due to wrongful detentions.

The U.S. government is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and may change this guidance again quickly in response to emergent concerns. Please check back frequently for any changes.

COVID-19 Situation Overview

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued a Travel Notice (Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions) due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and limited health care resources.    

Travel restrictions, quarantine, testing requirements, access to medical treatment (including hospital capacity, ambulance availability, and medical supplies), and COVID-19 response measures may change or vary across mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR.

Check with the PRC Embassy in the United States for the most updated information on travel to the PRC. Travelers to Hong Kong SAR are required to present a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 24 hours of flight departure or a PCR test within 48 hours of flight departure. Travelers to Macau SAR are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of flight departure.

Travelers to mainland China may face additional testing requirements to enter some facilities or events.

Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in mainland areas of the PRC, or the Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau's COVID-19 page for information on the COVID-19 situation in the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The Department of State does not provide or coordinate direct medical care to private U.S. citizens abroad. U.S. citizens overseas may receive PRC-approved vaccine doses where they are eligible.

The PRC government has not authorized for use in mainland China many vaccines commonly available in the United States and Europe, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson products. It has conditionally authorized twelve PRC-made vaccines; these are available to anyone residing in China. The two most commonly available, Sinopharm and Sinovac, have not yet received approval by the FDA. Sinopharm and Sinovac have received approval for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, BioNTech mRNA vaccines, including the bivalent option, are available. Please contact local health authorities for information on available vaccines.

Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

Country Summary: The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including issuing exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without fair and transparent process under the law.

The Department has determined the risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the PRC government exists in mainland China.

U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR, may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime.  U.S. citizens in the PRC may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law.

Foreigners in the PRC and the Hong Kong SAR, including but not limited to businesspeople, former foreign government personnel, and journalists have been unjustly interrogated and detained by PRC officials for alleged violations of PRC national security laws. The PRC has also interrogated, detained, and expelled U.S. citizens living and working in the PRC.

Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau SAR governments.

In addition, the PRC government has used restrictions on travel or departure from the PRC, or so-called exit bans, to:

  • compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations,
  • pressure family members of the restricted individual to return to the PRC from abroad,
  • resolve civil disputes in favor of PRC citizens, and
  • gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.

In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of an exit ban when they attempt to depart the PRC, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to find out how long the ban might continue or to contest it in a court of law.  Relatives, including minor children, of those under investigation in the PRC may become subject to an exit ban.

The PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments do not recognize dual nationality.  U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments may prevent the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General from providing consular services.

XINJIANG UYGHUR AUTONOMOUS REGION and TIBET AUTONOMOUS REGION

Extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

Since the imposition of the National Security Law on June 30, 2020, the PRC unilaterally and arbitrarily exercises police and security power in the Hong Kong SAR. The PRC has demonstrated an intent to use this authority to target a broad range of activities it defines as acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign entities. The National Security Law also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong residents or organizations outside of Hong Kong, which could subject U.S. citizens who have been publicly critical of the PRC to a heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution.  PRC security forces, including the new Office for Safeguarding National Security, now operate in the Hong Kong SAR and are not subject to oversight by the Hong Kong judiciary.

Demonstrations: Participating in demonstrations or any other activities that authorities interpret as constituting an act of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with a foreign country could result in criminal charges. U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations.

Propaganda: A PRC propaganda campaign has falsely accused individuals, including U.S. citizens, of fomenting unrest in the Hong Kong SAR. In some cases, the campaign has published their personal information, resulting in threats of violence on social media.

Read the country information page for the PRC, the information page for the Hong Kong SAR, and the information page for the Macau SAR for additional information on travel.

If you decide to travel to the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, read the Embassy COVID-19 page for the PRC and the Consulate General COVID-19 page for the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR for specific COVID-19 information.
  • For the Hong Kong SAR, monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • For the Hong Kong SAR, review your Hong Kong flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website.
  • Enter the PRC on your U.S. passport with a valid PRC visa and keep it with you.
  • If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately.
  • If you plan to enter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), read the DPRK Travel Advisory. Travelers should note that U.S. passports are not valid for travel to, in, or through the DPRK, unless they are specially validated by the Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.  Follow the U.S. Embassy on TwitterWeChat, and Weibo. Follow the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for the PRC, the Hong Kong SAR, and the Macau SAR.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Beijing
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
China
Telephone
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
Emergency
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
Fax
+(86)(10) 8531-3300

China Map