This travel advice covers mainland China. For the Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of Hong Kong and Macao, see travel advice for Hong Kong and travel advice for Macao

COVID-19 entry restrictions for China

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for China’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

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.

Commercial  travel in and out of Hainan island has been suspended until further notice due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The Hainan provincial authorities are arranging charter flights for travellers who need to leave Hainan province. If you are on Hainan island and want to leave, or have problems with accommodation, you can consult the Hainan Foreign Affairs WeChat Account (search for Foreign Affairs Office in Hainan) for updates and/or contact the Hainan authorities. Contact numbers can be found by searching on WeChat for “24-hour Service Hotlines for Stranded Travelers in Hainan” (English speakers may not be available), or call the Hainan government hotline on 12345. The authorities in Sanya have also opened assistance hotlines for foreign tourists and residents currently in Sanya. The numbers are: +86 (0)898 88031228 and +86 (0)898 88031211. If you need urgent consular assistance, contact the British consulate on +86 (0)20 8314 3000.

COVID-19 restrictions are likely to remain in some areas. Even where city-wide lockdowns have been lifted, further localised lockdowns are likely to be imposed where positive COVID-19 cases are identified. There may be requirements for those wishing to depart certain cities. You should check carefully before you travel as local arrangements are liable to change at short notice.

If you’re planning travel to China, find out what you need to know about entry requirements and the coronavirus situation in the Entry requirements and Coronavirus sections.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

The Chinese authorities continue to impose various control and quarantine measures across the country. This includes restrictions on movement, reduced transport, entry and exit controls for cities, towns and villages, and isolation requirements for travel between different parts of the country. Lockdowns can be implemented with little warning and may result in disruptions to medical and other basic services, including food delivery. You should ensure you have prepared additional supplies of food, water and medication.

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be placed into a designated COVID hospital for centralized care. You will remain there until you have tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times, the processes for which can take a number of weeks. You may be separated from your child if one of you tests positive for coronavirus. Whilst we cannot prevent this, if it happens to you or is about to happen, you can call +86 (0)10 8529 6600 for 24/7 urgent consular assistance. Non-residents may be charged for their care. For further details on healthcare in China, check the Coronavirus section

The British Embassy and Consulates-General in Shanghai and Guangzhou provide travel documentary services to British nationals. However, you will need to make an appointment online before coming to a Consulate. See Notarial and Documentary Services Guide. The ability of the British Embassy and Consulates to provide face-to-face assistance within China is currently limited. If you’re in China and need consular support, call +86 (0)10 8529 6600 or the FCDO in London on +44 (0) 207 008 5000.

British nationals normally need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao. See Visas

You must register your place of residence with the local Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival. See Entry requirements

In light of protests and demonstrations in Hong Kong, there are reports of greater scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings between the mainland and Hong Kong. This includes reports that travellers’ electronic devices have been checked at border crossings. You should be aware that the thresholds for detention and prosecution in China differ from those in Hong Kong. See Local laws and customs and Safety and security

China has a zero tolerance policy on drugs. There are severe penalties for drugs-related offences including the death penalty. Police often raid bars and nightclubs checking for the use of illicit substances. Raids on private homes have also occurred. See Local laws and customs

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in China. Although foreigners haven’t been specifically targeted, attacks may occur in places visited by foreigners. You should take particular care during national holidays or when transiting public transport hubs, and always follow the advice of the local authorities. Previous attacks have targeted public places including on one occasion at a railway station and an open air market in 2014. There have been no recent attacks in the main tourist areas. The risk is higher in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region. You should take particular care and remain vigilant when travelling to or within Xinjiang. See Terrorism

Do not attempt to travel to Tibet without getting the correct permits. The Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) can be closed to foreigners without notice. See Tibet and the Tibet Autonomous Region

Police have the power to detain or prevent you from leaving China if you’re involved in or connected to a business and/or civil dispute. See Local laws and customs and Safety and security

China doesn’t recognise dual nationality. If you have both British and Chinese nationality you may be treated as a Chinese citizen by local authorities, even if you enter China on your British passport. If this is the case, the British Embassy may not be able to offer you consular assistance. The FCDO has published guidance on nationality in China. If you’ve formally renounced Chinese citizenship, you should carry evidence that you have done so. See Local laws and customs

High levels of air pollution can occur in major urban and industrialised areas in China, and may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can check the pollution index levels for many cities in real time. See Health

The typhoon season in China normally runs from May to November. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Natural disasters

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.