Coronavirus situation in China
The coronavirus situation in China has eased somewhat from its most acute phase and the number of new infections has clearly decreased compared to February. However, the epidemic and related measures are not over. China is now preparing for a possible second wave of the epidemic and has introduced new prevention measures, related to e.g. entry to China. China has restricted the entry of almost all foreigners from March 28 onwards. Large-scale restrictive measures also continue to be implemented within the country and will only be lifted gradually.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus epidemic a global pandemic. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland recommends those traveling abroad to return to Finland, to avoid all travel abroad and to take special care all over the world.
The Embassy of Finland in Beijing and the Consulate General in Shanghai continue to closely monitor the situation in China, together with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), as well as missions in other countries. We recommend those in China to closely follow the announcements by the Chinese authorities as well as the websites of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish missions in China, as well as social media channels.
Restrictions on entry
From March 28 onwards, China has temporarily restricted entry by all foreigners holding a valid visa or residence permit to China, with the exception of diplomats and those traveling on service, courtesy or C visas (cabin crew). For certain commercial, scientific, technological and humanitarian reasons, it is still possible to apply for a visa at Chinese missions.
Several airlines have suspended their flights to mainland China, including Finnair, with flights between Finland and mainland China canceled until further notice. For the time being, Juneyao Airlines operates one weekly flight between Shanghai and Helsinki.
In general, there are very few flights to China and they are frequently canceled or subject to schedule changes. China has decided to temporarily limit the number of international flights from March 29 onwards. Chinese airlines can only operate one international flight per week per country. Similarly, foreign airlines can only operate one weekly flight to China. The flights are allowed to be operated at no more than 75% of their full capacity. Restrictions do not apply to cargo flights.
In both Beijing and Shanghai, the local authorities have raised their security measures to apply to everyone coming from abroad, regardless of their country of origin. According to the latest regulations, the Covid-19 nucleic acid test and 14-day centralized quarantine are, in principle, required for anyone coming to Beijing or Shanghai from abroad. The same procedure also applies in e.g. Guangdong province.
As per connection flights, the rules vary from province to province. For example, those arriving in Shanghai and continuing their journey to elsewhere in China will have to undergo the 14-day quarantine in Shanghai before continuing to their final destination, with the exception of the neighboring provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, where the quarantine is carried out locally.
Restrictions on travel
The Chinese authorities are still significantly restricting travel within the country, especially between provinces. Inter-provincial public transport is often inconvenient and quarantines are still possible.
Some of the other restrictive measures, such as fever measurements, general monitoring and recording of data at public and residential areas, closures of sites and facilities as well as cancellations of events may continue for a long time to come.
Shops and restaurants have mostly reopened, but cultural and leisure services remain largely closed or restricted. The situation varies from city to city.
Schools around China are gradually being reopened. As for international schools, there has been no information yet.
New restrictive measures are generally not announced beforehand and often take effect immediately.
Submit a travel notification
Submit a travel notification if you have not yet submitted one. This way, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is able reach you and share important information. Also, be sure to delete your travel notification if you have already returned to Finland. The notification can be submitted at Matkustusilmoitus.fi. If you have registered in the system, you can delete a travel notification submitted without a return date yourself. Otherwise, the information can be sent to the Finnish Embassy at sanomat.pek AT formin.fi
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