Covid-19 situation in mainland China

China has reported the highest number of Covid-19 infections in spring 2022 since the beginning of the pandemic, including the initial outbreak in Wuhan in the spring 2020. The majority of infections have been reported in Shanghai which was placed under lockdown for April and May. Shanghai Government announced the ending of the Shanghai lockdown on 1.6., and most of the city has returned almost to normal. The mass testing will continue until further notice in Beijing.

There are no signs of relaxing the very strict entry regulations into China and the flight situation remains difficult. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has updated the travel advice to mainland China to advice against any non-essential travel to China on 24 May 2022.

Travelling to China continues to be difficult. Transit flights to China have been allowed since 30 June 2022. Anyone entering China is subject to strict quarantine measures. The current entry quarantine is 7 days in centralized quarantine which is followed by 3 days of self-monitoring. The duration of quarantine and health monitoring period might still vary between different provinces.

Situation in Shanghai

After two months of citywide lockdown, the authorities announced the easing of the restrictions in Shanghai starting from 1 June. Access to public places e.g. shops, shopping malls and public transportation is permitted with a negative PCR result taken within 72h. Several free testing points have been built on the streets. Entry to the airports requires a negative PCR test taken within 48h.

Weekly PCR testing of the Shanghai’s entire population of 25 million is expected to continue until the end of July. Positive cases are being tracked down, and all those who test positive are taken to a designated hospital or to quarantine centers. Positive cases or close contacts still leads to entire building compounds being quarantined for extensive testing. Conditions in the quarantine centers are rudimentary, with no heating or proper washing facilities necessarily available. The local authorities have stated that an adult can accompany a Covid-positive child to a hospital or quarantine center.

The Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai has opened their customer service with normal business hours starting from 1 June.

In case of emergency, contact the Foreign Ministry’s emergency service (+368 9 160 55 555), including cases where there is a risk for a child to be separated from their parents and transferred to a designated Covid Hospital.

Entry regulations and travel within the country

From 30 June 2022, China requires all vaccinated travelers to obtain two negative Covid-test results. In addition, the negative test results have to be confirmed by the Chinese Embassy. Upon arrival to China, travelers are subject to undergo at least 7 days of centralized quarantine which is followed by 3 days of self-monitoring. The duration of quarantine and health monitoring period might still vary between different provinces. The regulations are prone to rapid and sudden changes.

Traveling within the country can be controlled by requiring a negative Covid-test, quarantine, or by other restrictions and regulations. Some provinces in China might restrict unvaccinated people from traveling or from entry into public areas such as shopping malls or hospitals. China’s vaccination plan now includes foreigners living in China and local vaccines are largely accessible around the country.

The Chinese authorities have informed that a Covid-19 positive person will be transferred to a designated hospital or quarantine center for treatment, regardless of the age of the person. This also applies to asymptomatic cases. Separating a Covid positive person from their healthy family members has been a key measure, which might be applied even in the case of children and infants. The Finnish Embassy and Consulate General have currently limited capacity to influence situations where the Chinese health authorities are the decision-maker.

The Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Helsinki is closed until further notice.

Starting from 13 June, China has eased visa policy for the persons vaccinated by vaccinations approved by China, or by the WHO. PU letter for visa applicants is no longer required. In addition, visa facilitation for vaccinated family members of Chinese citizens or holders of Chinese permanent residence permit has started.

China requires travelers to obtain a negative PCR test result no later than two days before boarding the flight. In addition, the negative test results must be confirmed by the Chinese Embassy. As of 30 June 2022, the Chinese embassy does not require the use of certain test facilities, but the PCR tests can be done at any test facility approved by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. PCR tests must be taken 48 hours before the flight, either so that the tests are taken on the same day at two different test facilities, or 48 and 24 hours before the flight at the same test facility. The current test requirements should always be checked on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Finland before the trip. If a person has had a COVID-19 infection, they can be understood as cured 14 days after the cure. Being cured is confirmed by two negative PCR tests taken within 48 hours, as well as by self-verified absence of symptoms for 14 days.

From 30 June 2022, it is possible to travel from Finland to China with a transit flight. In order to obtain a "green health code" that allows entry into China, travelers to China should always check the test requirements with the Chinese embassy of the country they are stopping over.

More information is available on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Finland(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window).

Upon arrival to China, travelers are required to test for Covid-19 and are subject to undergo for at least 7 days of centralized quarantine. Several Covid-tests will be performed during the quarantine. Depending on the regulations of the province, a 3 days home quarantine as well as health-monitoring period may follow. Travelers without a residence in the arrival city will be subject to a health monitoring in a designated hotel. Quarantine practices may vary by region.

The centralized quarantine hotels are to be paid by the travelers own expense and ordering food in the hotels might be restricted. Leaving the quarantine requires negative PCR-test results. Leaving the hotel room or an apartment might be difficult during the health monitoring, unless there is a medical emergency. Several Covid-tests might also be performed during the health-monitoring period.

Local authorities in China’s provinces control traveling mainly by requiring a negative Covid-test result during entry and exit. Traveling between cities can be restricted.

Most public spaces (such as shops and restaurants) will not be accessible unless you have downloaded a health code application on your phone, in most cases integrated on Alipay or WeChat, and can display a green code. In principle, city-specific green codes should work automatically if there is no record of travel abroad or to certain areas that have been identified as high or medium risk areas. Codes usually require a Chinese telephone subscription to work. You may need to register with a separate QR code in public spaces, shopping malls or hospitals. Some provinces in China might restrict unvaccinated people from entry into public areas or hospitals.

Depending on the local regulations, a green health code may also be required when traveling within the country. There have been problems with the codes and purchasing flight tickets when traveling within the country, especially for foreigners. The health code application might also have required a new quarantine when arriving to a new area.

Flights by different airlines may be canceled by the Chinese authorities. Interruptions in air travel may take effect on a short schedule and last for several weeks.

More information:

Chinese Foreign Ministry Website(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

Chinese Civil Aviation Authority CAAC website(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

Health

During spring 2022, China has reported the highest rates of coronavirus infection during the entire pandemic, and entire cities may be placed in full lockdown at a short notice. New imported cases have mainly been reported on immigration checks at airports or during the quarantine and the spreading of the virus has been attempted to control effectively.

Provinces where local infections are found are quick to perform mass testing on the population. Local authorities control leaving from the province or even from individual residential buildings. Much of the country has different rules regarding the use of respirators (including public transport and public areas) and quarantine within the country is possible.

A large proportion of people wear respiratory protection, depending on the city, even when outdoors.

For more information:

Chinese National Health Commission NHC website(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

Finnish missions’ customer service

The Embassy of Finland in Beijing and the Consulate General in Shanghai have suspended the processing of most visa applications and the Visa Applications Centers (VACs) are closed for the time being.

The reception of residence permit and passport applications, as well as notarial and legalization services operate normally in all Finnish missions in China.

If you need assistance with passport, notarial or legalization matters, please first contact us by e-mail: [email protected] (Beijing) or [email protected] (Shanghai).

In case of emergency outside office hours, please contact the Finnish Foreign Ministry's emergency service(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window).

Travel notification

We remind all travelers and those already in the country to submit a travel notification(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window).

If you have already submitted a travel notification and your stay abroad has been extended, it is advisable to change the end date on the travel notification. Doing this, we will be informed that you are still in the country, and we can send you notifications and inquiries. If you have registered to the service, you can edit the travel notification yourself. If you have not registered, you can submit a new travel notification.

If your travel notification did not have an end date or you have returned to Finland earlier than planned, the notification should be deleted. If you have registered to the service, you can edit the notification yourself. If you have not registered, you can send a removal request by e-mail to [email protected]. Please note that requests to change or delete a travel notification might take some time to process.

For more information:

Finnish missions on Facebook:

Beijing(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

Shanghai(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

Chinese news sites in English:

Xinhua(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

China Daily(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

Shanghai Daily(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)

china.org.cn(layout.types.url.description) (Opens New Window)