Unlocking the World

Traveling to China during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 28th June 2022
Shanghai's neon skyline is one of China's modern wonders.
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on June 28.
(CNN) — If you're planning a trip to China, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

The Covid-19 pandemic started in China's Hubei province, but early and strict lockdowns originally helped keep the virus under control. However, the Omicron variant has proven challenging, and the government is still pursuing a "zero Covid" strategy.
At present, most visitors are not yet allowed entry to the country.
On June 28, China announced that it would loosen, but not drop, its requirements for incoming travelers. The existing 14-day quarantine will be replaced by a "seven plus three" program consisting of one week of hotel quarantine plus three days of home observation.

What's on offer

This is of course one of the world's greatest ancient civilizations. China brought us papermaking, printing, and, of course, tea. Its many dynasties have left their marks in world-famous heritage sites, such as the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an, and ancient towns such as Lijiang. But it's also thoroughly modern, with mushrooming cities and skyscrapers pricking the clouds.

Who can go

China closed its borders to nearly all travelers in March 2020, when the pandemic started spreading throughout Europe.

What are the restrictions?

As of May 20, travelers from the United States and Canada no longer have to take a PCR test seven days before flying to China.
However, some restrictions are still in place. These travelers are still required to take two PCR tests 24-48 hours before going to China (depending on their departure airport) and a pre-flight antigen test.
For the newly qualified entrants, entry depends on having received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines at least 14 days prior to entry. They must apply for a visa in advance, and show their proof of vaccination on arrival, as well as the negative tests.
Arrivals are screened once more at the airport. Those failing the checks will be sent to government facilities. Some provinces require additional quarantine upon arrival.
Would-be travelers must be careful as flights can be canceled at the last minute.

What's the Covid situation?

China has reported 2.1 million cases and 14,624 deaths as of June 28, 2022. About 89% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
Many attractions require guests to register one day in advance and to take a Covid test before being permitted to enter. Shanghai Disneyland Resort, which will reopen on July 1, requires a test 72 hours before visiting.
Visitors are strongly urged to keep on top of local restrictions and rule changes as much as possible. On June 3, many neighborhoods in Shanghai reopened after a nearly two-month lockdown, only to shut some of them back down again just one day later when some positive cases were detected.

What can visitors expect?

Things can change fast in China. Regional lockdowns have been imposed every time there are new outbreaks of the virus.
Anyone visiting China is urged to be flexible as lockdowns can happen to apartment buildings, offices, or even entire neighborhoods with little notice.
Following the significant outbreak in Shanghai in late March and early April, some cities have closed off their connections to the global hub.
Several flights from Singapore to Shanghai were canceled, and Singapore Airlines has reportedly been removing the route from its website so that travelers could not attempt to book tickets.

Useful links

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