Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for mainland China on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

All direct flights from the UK to mainland China have been suspended. This measure will be subject to future review but no date has been given.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in China.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

You should check local testing facilities information on the National Health Commission website.

Those failing pre-departure health checks in China, including children checks, will be contacted by host authorities and sent to a designated hospital for treatment. You will remain there until you have tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times, the processes for which can take a number of weeks.

If a child, irrespective of age, tests positive they will be separated from family members and sent to a designated hospital for treatment. If this happens to you, you can call +86 (0)10 8529 6600 for 24/7 urgent consular assistance. Non-residents may be charged for their care. For further information on healthcare in China, see the Health section.

Failure to comply with the quarantine conditions or testing put in place, or any attempts to deliberately conceal health conditions can result in being sentenced to up to three years in prison. This applies to both Chinese and foreign nationals.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in China

Mandatory requirements to check temperatures and use health kit apps or scan QR codes to prove travel history are in place at transport hubs, hotels, commercial buildings including restaurants, residential compounds and other locations.

Restrictions on movement and quarantine arrangements remain for travel between different parts of the country. Some cities and provinces need travellers from high to medium risk areas to undergo 14 days of isolation in their place of residence or in centralised observation. Quarantine is enforced at the neighbourhood level and procedures vary, so check in advance.

The possibility that local authorities impose mandatory quarantine in response to fresh outbreaks is high. There have been reports of individuals who have frequented bars or restaurants where there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 being mandated to undergo 14 days of centralised quarantine. You should keep up to date with the latest developments and this travel advice, including requirements for evidence of a negative COVID-19 NAT test within 48 hours of travel from high to medium risk areas.

There have been reports of discrimination against foreign nationals in China as a result of a perceived risk that they might re-import COVID-19. In Guangzhou, in particular, there have been reports of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, especially of those who are black and minority ethnic, including additional enforced quarantine and testing, as well as hotels and businesses not serving clients.

Healthcare in China

Medical facilities may come under strain in response to localised outbreaks. Designated hospitals have been established in each province to take patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

You will be separated from your child if one of you tests positive for coronavirus. If this happens to you, you can call +86 (0)10 8529 6600 for 24/7 urgent consular assistance. Non-residents may be charged for their care.

Medical facilities are largely functioning as normal but quarantine restrictions may delay or limit access to such care. View Health for further details on healthcare in China.

For contact details for English speaking doctors, visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in China

We will update this page when the Government of China announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Chinese national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the Sinovac, Sinopharm and CanSino vaccines. The Government of China has stated that British nationals resident in China are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. There is no centralised registration system for vaccinations in China, it is managed at provincial and local levels, you should contact your local healthcare provider for further information.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in China, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Help and support

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.