China Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. The British Consulate General in Wuhan city is currently closed. If you’re in Hubei Province and able to leave, you should do so.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). As of 31 January, some staff and dependants from the British Embassy and Consulates are being withdrawn from China. Essential staff needed to continue critical work will remain. In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the British Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to British nationals from within China may be limited.

The Chinese government continues to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Some airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have announced a suspension of flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder to access departure options over the coming weeks. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed, taking into account your personal circumstances and the information available to you. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be at heightened risk.

For further information on measures introduced by the Chinese authorities and health advice from Public Health England, see Health

You should always take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

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

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

Foreign nationals over the age of 16 must carry their passport at all times. See Local laws and customs

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

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

Don’t 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

In light of ongoing 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 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 FCO 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

Territorial disputes between China and neighbouring countries have caused high regional tension. There have been anti-Japanese and anti-Korean demonstrations in several cities across China. See Political situation

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


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