From July 20, 2020, China's Civil Aviation Administration announced that all persons (including Chinese nationals) must have proof of a negative result for COVID-19 issued no more than 5 days before departure using a nucleic acid test performed by a provider recognized by the local Chinese embassy or consulate. This policy does not apply to residents from Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, or Taiwan. Chinese nationals should upload test results using the "Health QR Code" mobile app. Foreign nationals must submit test results to a Chinese embassy or consulate and obtain a "Health Status" certificate for use when boarding flights bound for China.
"Fast Lane" Immigration Clearance for Singaporean Nationals
From June 8, 2020, Singaporean nationals traveling to one of the following 6 provinces or municipalities in China for business purposes may qualify for special "fast lane" immigration clearance: Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin, or Zhejiang. To use "fast lane," travelers must be sponsored by either a company or a government agency in China, which will file an application on the traveler's behalf with local provincial or municipal authorities. If approved, the traveler will receive an official invitation letter. Travelers must then apply for a visa from the Chinese embassy in Singapore and submit a health declaration to Chinese authorities.
No more than 48 hours prior to departure, "fast lane" travelers must undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19. Airlines will conduct pre-boarding checks to verify the traveler holds approval for "fast lane" clearance, a negative PCR test result, a return air ticket, and a valid visa. Failure to produce these documents may result in a denial of permission to board the aircraft.
Upon arrival, "fast lane" travelers will undergo an additional PCR test and a serology test at their own expense. Travelers must then remain in a location designated by the local provincial or municipal government while awaiting their test results. Upon confirmation of a negative test result, the host company or government agency will ensure the traveler is transported between their designated accommodation and workplace for the duration of their stay. "Fast lane" travelers are required to use the local "Health QR code" system for the duration of their stay in China. "Fast lane" travelers are not permitted to use public transportation while in China.
"Fast-Track" Immigration Clearance for Korean Nationals
From May 1, 2020, Korean nationals traveling to China for business purposes may qualify for special "fast-track" immigration clearance provided they meet the following criteria:
1) They are sponsored by a Korean or Chinese firm in China that has successfully applied for permission to use the "fast-track" program;
2) They hold a letter of invitation from the sponsoring firm;
3) They were issued a valid visa by a Chinese embassy or consulate in Korea.
Prior to departing for China, persons using the "fast-track" program must:
1) Self-monitor for 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19;
2) Obtain a certificate issued no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled departure from a healthcare provider designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare stating they have tested negative for COVID-19.
Upon arrival in China, persons using the "fast-track" program must:
1) Undergo 1-2 days quarantine at a designated location;
2) Test negative for COVID-19 on both a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a serological (antibody) test;
3) Use prearranged transportation to their final destination upon confirmation of negative test results.
Korea nationals using the "fast-track" program are restricted to the following regions in China: Anhui Province, Chongqing Municipality, Guangdong Province, Jiangsu Province, Liaoning Province, Shaanxi Province, Shandong Province, Shanghai Municipality, Sichuan Province, and Tianjin Municipality.
Quarantine-Free Entry for Residents of Macau SAR
From July 6, 2020, residents of Macau SAR traveling for official purposes, business purposes, or approved special reasons, may be eligible for quarantine-free entry to the following cities in Guangdong Province: Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing, and Zhuhai. In order to qualify, Macau SAR residents must meet the following criteria:
1) They have not traveled outside Macau SAR or Mainland China within 14 days of their intended arrival in Zhuhai;
2) They are not exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 such as fever or cough;
3) They have a "green" status under the "Macau Health Code" system;
4) They hold a negative result for COVID-19 issued no more than 7 days prior to their intended arrival in Zhuhai using a nucleic-acid test.
Macau SAR residents may apply for a quarantine exemption online at the following URL: https://app.ssm.gov.mo/IMM
From March 28, 2020, the following policies are in place:
1) Foreign nationals holding valid visas or residency permits are prohibited from entering China (see above for a possible exemption for Korean business travelers);
2) Foreign nationals holding APEC Business Travel Cards are prohibited from entering China;
3) Residents of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan must undergo a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 and a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Mainland China;
4) The following visa-free or temporary visa arrangements are temporarily suspended:
Port visas, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit, Hainan 30-day visa-free entry, 15-day visa-free entry for foreign cruise ships or groups tours at Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free entry for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free entry for foreign tour groups from ASEAN countries.
5) Diplomatic, service, courtesy, or "C" visas are not impacted;
6) Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities, or for emergency humanitarian needs may continue to apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Foreign nationals holding visas issued after these policies were implemented may enter China.
Be advised, many provincial authorities in China have implemented additional policies and restrictions on both Chinese and foreign nationals. All persons may be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a designated facility at their own expense.