China Reopens for Travel: Here's What You Should Know

China Reopens for Travel: Here’s What You Should Know

China reopened on January 8, 2023 to international travel both for Chinese nationals leaving the country for travels abroad as well as for international inbound travelers after nearly three years of closed borders and some of the world’s strictest entry requirements, prompting many to begin thinking about traveling to the country again.

Here’s the latest on what you need to know if you’re thinking about traveling to mainland China or Hong Kong this year. Be aware, though, that these requirements are subject to change and may change rapidly in the future.


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Traveling to Mainland China

Travelers who carry United States passports are required to do a few things in order to enter mainland China, including obtaining the standard visitor’s visa.

Besides the visa, they’ll also be required to provide proof of full vaccination and test negative for COVID-19 at most 48 hours prior to departure to China, using a NAT test. Travelers can take any NAT test that is collected and tested at any CLIA-certified lab.

Travelers are also required to fill out the country’s Health Declaration Form online, to be submitted at least 24 hours prior to arrival. It can be found online or via the China Customs app.

Upon entry to mainland China, travelers are no longer required to quarantine or test again. It’s required that travelers and residents both wear masks in all public spaces, except when doing strenuous physical activity.

Hong Kong by night.
Hong Kong by night. (photo via bennymarty / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Traveling to Hong Kong

Travelers arriving from outside of Hong Kong and are not Chinese nationals are required to present proof of their full vaccination and take a pre-departure PCR or rapid antigen test result, the results of which can be shared via photographic proof or uploaded to the voluntary Health Declaration Form, which can be found online.

The government also recommends travelers to rapid test themselves each day from their arrival to the fifth day of their trip in Hong Kong and upload these results to the monitoring system, though this is not mandatory.

Travelers heading to mainland China from Hong Kong are required to pre-book their transit to the mainland online and take a PCR test within 48 hours prior to departure to the mainland.

Hong Kong is currently under a full mask mandate for all public spaces, unless when doing strenuous physical activity.

Travelers should also be aware that as of February 1, 2023, Cannabidiol, or CBD, will be classified as a dangerous drug; entering the country with CBD in your possession will be illegal and can lead to imprisonment.

As always, we encourage travelers to research the destinations they visit prior to traveling and use official resources for the best and most current entry information.

For more information on traveling to China or anywhere else in the world, check out our interactive guide:

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