Travel to China – Travel Restrictions

Travel to China

The first thing to understand about traveling to China is that there are some travel restrictions that apply. These restrictions range from health monitoring and HIV/AIDS to exit bans. There are also religious activities that are banned.

HIV/AIDS

China is home to one of the largest HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. Approximately one million people are estimated to be infected with the virus. As a result, the government has launched programs to treat sufferers and locally produce affordable ARVs.

The main route of infection is through sexual transmission. A large proportion of newly diagnosed cases are due to heterosexual contact. However, more cases are reported through injection drug use. Drug users have high rates of sharing needles, and the rate of injection is higher among men.

In the mid-1990s, an estimated 69,000 HIV infections were caused by contamination during the collection of contaminated blood plasma. This was followed by a national HIV testing campaign among former commercial blood plasma donors.

In China, the largest hotspots for HIV/AIDS are located in the southwestern frontier provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan. However, since 2008, the distribution of hotspots has spread to the central and northeastern parts of the country.

COVID-19

China’s COVID-19 travel restrictions have been gradually loosening. However, the recent outbreaks have spurred the government to take additional measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

The best practice for travelers entering China is to get a green health and travel code (HSC) as soon as possible. This enables you to complete a mandatory nucleic acid test at a designated facility in the country of your origin, and may be required by some cities.

The same is true for travelers transiting to a third country. A COVID-19 test can be taken in the city of your destination, or in the place of your departure. In some cases, a green HDC code can also be obtained from the consulate, in place of a test.

When in doubt, it is often better to consult with your local health officials or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These agencies have guidance on what tests to get, and will know if you need to take a more extensive test.

Religious activities prohibited

A new law has been proposed in China which will further restrict religious activities. The draft law is designed to prevent foreign religious groups from engaging in actions hostile to the Chinese government. This includes prohibiting religious organizations from using terminology that is hostile to China.

According to the new law, anyone who carries out activities in a way that violates China’s laws will be penalized. Fines could reach as high as 30,000 USD.

These restrictions are based on Marxist ideology, which holds that religion is not in line with “scientific” world view. Therefore, no one can use religion to interfere with public order. However, Chinese authorities assert state control over all religions and their practitioners.

Religious practice in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has been severely stifled, as has Tibetan Buddhism. The Communist Party of China, which has ruled the nation for more than five years, has seized the initiative to impose further restrictions.

Health monitoring restrictions

Health monitoring restrictions when traveling to China can be very strict. While these restrictions may not be enforceable in all cases, they can make it difficult for travelers to visit the country.

In recent months, Chinese public opinion has been growing against the stringent virus restrictions. It also called for leader Xi Jinping to loosen up these restrictions. The government ended the strictest restrictions last week. However, other restrictions still remain.

Travellers can check their health condition using the Chinese Health App. If their test is negative, their colour will change to green. They will be able to enter certain tourist attractions. However, if their test is positive, they will be quarantined at a hospital.

The China National Health Commission has launched a WeChat mini program to help citizens monitor their health. This program allows users to check whether they have taken the same public transport as a COVID-19 patient within the past 14 days.

Exit bans

Exit bans are a big concern for travellers to China, especially those who are planning to visit for business purposes. The risk is heightened when travelling to regions where extra security measures are common, such as the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region and Tibet.

There are a number of reasons why a traveller might have an exit ban. Some of these include criminal and civil matters. If you’re unsure about your personal situation, it’s best to get professional legal advice.

Generally, China’s exit bans are well-defined and applied by local authorities. But they do not always disclose this information. You may not even know that you’ve been banned. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate your chances of being impacted.

First, you need to obtain a valid Chinese visa before you leave. This can help avoid a costly administrative detention.