*This China coronavirus update will post the latest report every week. 

China Covid-19 in Numbers (as of December 5, 2022)

  • Total Number of Cases: 336,165

  • Total Number of Recovered Patients: 290,702

  • Total Number of Reported Deaths: 5,235

*Data lifted from the latest Worldometers.info report and the CDC.

What is the Current Situation in China?

china coronavirus update

The risk of COVID-19 infections in China is still high. The CDC recommends all travelers to postpone and reschedule their trip to China until further announcements. All nonessential international travel to the country is still not allowed unless for humanitarian aid work, family emergencies, and medical reasons. Authorities are also prohibiting older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions and those who have increased risk for severe illness, to avoid travelling to China.

If you are in China and you get sick, you can expect limitations in medical help due to the pandemic. Should you be allowed to enter the country, you should plan ahead and at least get health care abroad.

If you tested positive with COVID-19 either with symptoms or asymptomatic during your stay abroad, you would be subject to isolation. You will not receive any clearance until you are fully recovered from the virus. If there are incidents that you get in contact with a person infected with COVID-19, authorities will place you under quarantine for 14 days from the day of your exposure to the virus.

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Is It Safe To Travel To China Now?

In terms of travel safety, it is best to reconsider travel to China at this moment, including Hong Kong, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared an alert level 3 Travel Health Notice for the country to avoid further infections from COVID-19.

Despite the implementations of restrictions in China, the country already resumed most business industries to help sustain its economy.

Can U.S. Citizens Visit China Now?

China suspended all travel entries from foreigners that are bearers of residence permits or visas on March 28, 2020. After several months of dealing with the virus, the country lifted the ban under modifications of restrictions on August 10, 2020, to allow some foreigners to enter the country. China excluded the United States from the list of countries permitted entry in China.

As mainland China started recovering its economy, the Hong Kong SAR also resumed their transportation systems and business operations under adjusted restrictions. Hong Kong managed to improve conditions on the coronavirus pandemic. 

What are the Requirements if I Need to Travel to China?

The National Immigration Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed on allowing foreigners with a valid residence permit and other personal matters without applying for new visas to enter China. But if residence permits of foreigners expired on the implementation of the travel ban (March 28, 2020), they can apply for renewal by showing their expired residence permits to the authorities. The applicant must present their same purpose before the expiration of the residence permit.  

Here are some key reminders with regards to travel restrictions:

  • Suppose your stay in China involves necessary trade, economic, scientific, and technological activities. In that case, you are allowed to apply for a special visa with an attachment of an Invitation Letter from the Foreign Affairs Office.
  • A special visa is also known as an “M visa,” which means the purpose of a business visit. It has a validity of thirty days minimum and 180 days maximum period.
  • If by chance, your residence permit and work permit are about to expire before authorities lift the ban, you should apply for a renewal of permits remotely. You can enter China with any type of visa once the authorities lift the ban. You should also proceed to the Police’s Entry and Exit Administrative Department to apply for your residence permit extension.
  • Your Chinese employer must restart your work permit application once your residence permit and work permit expires. You should know that your work permit license is not your final work permit, as foreign workers need to apply for a Z visa if they are still outside China. Your Chinese employer can resume the work permit application and place your Z visa to your residence permit.
  • If your Chinese employer terminates you from work, but your residence permit and work permit are still valid, the company should cancel all your permits. The Rules for the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China holds the law for this situation. A foreigner cannot enter China without a work permit or residence permit.
  • Foreigners can enter China if they have permanent residence ID cards.
  • Foreigners should follow compulsory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in China. Provinces and cities in the country have their own different quarantine measures for foreigners.

When Can I Travel to China?

Since August, China already made announcements that they are already allowing foreigners from specified European countries to start their applications for visas again at their respective Chinese consulates or embassies.

36 European countries can apply for Chinese visas. This includes:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • North Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Greece
  • United Kingdom

Then there are 13 Asian countries that authorities are reviewing for the same reception. They are as follows: Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, or the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and those who bear valid residence permits can also submit their applications for visas at their local Chinese consulates or embassies. 

China Flights Status

According to a global travel data firm, flights within China are starting to recover fully. The coronavirus pandemic made a significant impact in the aviation industry and grounded most planes since it started.

The country increases reinstating flights and bookings as the COVID-19 cases steadily decrease. There are even reports saying that the aviation industry is returning to its pre-pandemic state. ost flights are slowly recovering with keeping the pandemic under control and aggressive price promotions.

Domestic flights in China are seeing positive results, but their international flights may take a while to recover from the pandemic. Sad news for the international flights as the International Air Transport Association stated that the number of passengers would not return to the pre-pandemic volume until 2024. 

What Safety Health Practices Must I Observe While in China?

If you are travelling to China or any parts of the world, you should observe necessary measures to protect yourself and others from getting infected with COVID-19.

  • Maintain at least six feet distance and avoid any contact from anyone who is not a member of your household.
  • Keep your hands always clean by washing with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer.
  • Always wear a medical mask and face shield and keep your face protected when in public places.
  • Try to avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Avoid any contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, do not travel.

After you travel, you must still take extra caution to protect yourself and others from the disease further. Your travel exposed you to the risk of COVID-19, and you may have the virus already without knowing it. You will put your friends, family, and community at risk for 14 days after exposure to the virus. You should take these actions to avoid further spread of the virus:

  • As much as possible, stay at home.
  • Avoid interacting with other people.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 infection.

Note: This China coronavirus update was first published in October 2020 and has been updated to include the latest developments.

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