Foreign travel advice



Beijing, Tianjin and cities in Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, Henan and Liaoning provinces have been put on ‘red alert’ for extreme pollution levels. Authorities have restricted road traffic and flights to and from Beijing Capital Airport have been delayed or cancelled. Check with your travel provider for up to date details.

High levels of air pollution can occur in major urban and industrialised areas in China, and may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can check the pollution index levels for many cities in real time.

Over 570,000 British nationals visit mainland China every year. Most visits are trouble free but you should always take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

There is a general threat from terrorism. As a general rule foreigners haven’t been targeted but attacks could occur in places visited by foreigners. You should be particularly vigilant during national holidays or when transiting public transport hubs, and always follow the advice of local authorities. You should be particularly vigilant in Xinjiang province. See Terrorism

Take particular care if you’re travelling in Tibet. Don’t attempt to travel to Tibet without the appropriate permits. Tibetan Autonomous Region (or Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in neighbouring Provinces) can be closed to foreigners without notice. See Local travel

China is prone to earthquakes. An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 struck parts of Xinjiang on 3 July 2015, and on 4 January 2015, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck parts of Sichuan. See Natural disasters

Cases of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) have been reported in eastern and southern China, including in Guangdong province. See Health

Territorial disputes between China and neighbouring countries have caused high regional tension. There have been a number of anti-Japanese demonstrations in several cities across China. See Political situation

Foreign nationals over the age of 16 must carry their passport at all times. See Local laws and customs

You must register your place of residence with the local Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival. See Entry Requirements

Police have the power to detain you or prevent you from leaving China if you are suspected of a crime; have outstanding court action against you, or are involved in any kind of business dispute. This is called a travel ban. There are severe penalties in China for drugs-related offences including the death penalty. See Local Laws and Customs & Safety and Security

China doesn’t recognise dual nationality. If you hold Chinese nationality, the Chinese authorities will regard you as a Chinese national and we may not be able to provide you with consular assistance, for example if you are detained. See Local Laws and Customs

If you travel to the southern and central regions of China, including the provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, monitor weather conditions and take suitable precautions. Heavy rainfall in these regions has caused flooding, interruption of power supply and disruption to roads, railways and flights. The rainy season typically lasts until September. Temperatures in July and August can be very high and some provinces have issued heat alerts.

The tropical cyclone (typhoon) season in China normally runs from May to November, affecting the southern and eastern coastal regions of China. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders. See Typhoons.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.