Travel Advice China 2020: the latest update

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china travel advice

Travel Advice China 2020

The declaration of a worldwide viral pandemic, COVID-19, by the World Health Organisation, has resulted in international travel being restricted in many countries. At, we want to ensure that our customers are provided with the latest travel advice for the key destinations favoured by our customers.


The first cases of Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) were confirmed in the city of Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019 and since then, it has proceeded to spread to over 204 countries and territories with over 1,350,000 people so far testing positive for the virus and sadly over 75,000 dying.


China confirmed its first internally transmitted cases of COVID-19 on 31 December 2019 and by 7 April, 81,740 cases and 3331 deaths had been declared. To make sure you stay up to date for travel advice in China, this page will get updated. 


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. This virus is a type of coronavirus which can cause illness in animals and humans. Coronavirus infections in humans can result in coryzal symptoms as seen in a common cold and more severe respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia. In recent years, we have seen outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 


SARS-CoV-2 is the most recently discovered type of coronavirus and it is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. The method of transmission is often via cough, sneeze or exhalation. People breathing in these droplets or touching the surfaces these droplets land on and who touch their eyes, nose or mouth are at risk of developing COVID-19. 


The World Health Organisation continues to assess ongoing research on the means of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 but general advice is to maintain distance from others, regularly wash hands and avoid touching your face.


Many countries have implemented temporary travel restrictions and COVID-19 has impacted on events and activities. In the travel advice newsletter, we will endeavour to provide you with the latest travel advice on key destinations. Find the last update about travel advice in China below.


Current Travel Advice for China, as at 6 April 2020

With China relaxing its lockdown measures resulting in train reservations doubling and hotel bookings increasing by 60% there is hope that travel to and from China will gradually increase with suggestions that the city of Wuhan will soon have its restrictions lifted. 


At present, however, China has suspended the entry of most foreign nationals, including those who possess:


  • Chinese visa
  • Residence permit
  • APEC business travel card
  • Port visa


The exceptions to these measures include holders of Diplomatic, service, courtesy, or C visas; and new visa applications awarded by Chinese embassies or consulates overseas after the announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Flight changes to and from China

With much of the world placing restrictions on flights from China since the start of the outbreak, Chinese airlines such as China Eastern Airlines have been using their airplanes to transport vital equipment and personnel to countries in need. 


Air China, like many other airlines, is currently operating a skeletal international and domestic service with capacity dropping by 95% and 40% respectively on corresponding capacity in 2010.

However, in a remarkable sign of confidence, Air China has announced its intentions for domestic schedules for the week-long May holidays that almost match the capacity of 2019 levels.


Cancelled events in China

With China being the early epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, many events fell victim to infection fears. 


In the months ahead, badminton’s Asia Championships, scheduled for 21-26 April have been moved to the Philippines. The women’s Xi’an Tennis Open, scheduled for 13 to 19 April , has been cancelled while, in golf, the Volvo China Open has been postponed. In athletics, the Diamond League meetings have been cancelled.


With the spread of the virus slowing, some Chinese museums have now started to reopen. 


Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) FAQ – Travel

Question: Should I cancel my vacation to China?

Answer: In many countries, non-essential travel is being discouraged with the pandemic being a constantly evolving and changing situation. You should check for latest updates on travel advice for both your country of departure and your destination via respected Government websites and the travel advice newsletter. With refundable bookings on you can be assured that if you do need to cancel your vacation that you will be refunded.


Question: If I decide to travel to China, are there any precautions that can be taken to minimise the risk of infection?


  • Avoid contact with people displaying symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with hands, especially if unwashed.
  • Make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • While the focus is on COVID-19 please ensure that you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.


Question: Is there an increased risk of infection whilst travelling by air?

Answer: Due to how air is filtered and circulated on airplanes, many viruses and germs do not spread easily. Many countries now also operate immigration medical checks to identify any passengers who may pose a risk.


Question: Should travellers wear masks in China?

Answer: Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 is encouraged to wear a mask as it restricts the spread of the virus. For the uninfected, the wearing of masks is not deemed to significantly reduce the risk of infection, but you may wish to consider the customs of your destination. For instance, all passengers travelling on trains in China must wear a face mask while they are encouraged on all other modes of transport.


Question: What can I expect on arriving and departing at airports?

In some countries screening for all passengers entering and leaving their country is being conducted. Before being allowed to board a flight, you may be questioned about your health and your travel history and have your temperature taken.


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