- Reviewed: 2 February 2020, 16:45 NZDT
- Still current at: 19 February 2020
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Do not travel
Do not travel to China due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and the associated health risks and travel restrictions. We advise New Zealanders currently in China to depart at the earliest opportunity.View Larger Map Close/Open map
Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)
We have additional information regarding assistance for New Zealanders in Hubei Province here.
Our Embassy and Consulates in China remain open, and will continue to provide consular services to New Zealanders.
A number of airlines have temporarily reduced or stopped flights to and from China. Contact your airline to confirm travel arrangements. The New Zealand Government is assisting the departure of partners and dependents of its New Zealand staff in China.
The Chinese authorities have imposed travel restrictions within China, which may change without notice. Ensure you are aware of any restrictions that may affect you, and follow instructions from the Chinese authorities.
The World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January.
If you choose to travel to China despite our advice, ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance which covers all medical costs, including medical evacuation. The New Zealand Government cannot assist with medical costs.
Be aware that travel insurance policies often have exceptions for countries that have a travel advisory risk level of “do not travel”. Check whether you are covered with your insurance provider.
China has low crime rates generally, however petty theft targeting foreigners such as pickpocketing, purse snatching and theft of passports, laptops and cellphones occurs. You should take appropriate steps to ensure that your belongings are secure, particularly on public transport, in popular tourist locations and shopping districts. New Zealanders should also be wary of ATM and credit card fraud, and only use ATMs in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business. There is also some risk of receiving counterfeit currency.
There is a risk of armed banditry in remote areas bordering Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Viet Nam and Russia. Be vigilant if travelling in these areas.
Terrorist attacks are possible in China. New Zealanders in China are advised to pay close attention to their personal security at all times, monitor local media for security threats and follow any instructions issued by local authorities.
New Zealanders should be wary of scams targeting tourists when travelling in China. Common scams involve a tourist being invited for a massage, tea tasting or to a café or bar for a variety of reasons including to practice English. The tourist is then pressured to pay an exorbitant bill which may be accompanied with threats of violence, assault and credit card skimming.
Demonstrations occur from time to time and there has been civil unrest in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibet Autonomous Regions that has sometimes led to violence. Unauthorised public gatherings may be dispersed by force. New Zealanders in China are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations and comply with any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities.
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
There have been instances of violent unrest in this region. Future incidents of violent unrest are possible and security checks, curfews and restrictions on movement may be imposed or adjusted with little warning. Carry photo identification at all times.
Tibet Autonomous Region
Travel to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) by foreigners requires a permit and participation in an organised tour. Entry conditions for foreigners are subject to change by the local authorities at short notice. Even if they already have been granted a travel permit, New Zealanders intending to travel to the TAR should check with their travel agent for updates before departure.
General travel advice
Visa restrictions are strictly enforced in China. If you require a full visa you must obtain this prior to travel. Transit visas (issued on arrival) are available for some short visits, however, strict conditions apply, including the need to remain within a specified area and to provide evidence of onward travel to a third destination within a specified time limit. Visa and other entry and exit conditions can change at short notice, New Zealanders should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of China for up-to-date information.
Foreign nationals must register their place of residence with the Public Security Bureau within 24 hours of arrival in China or face fines and/or detention. Registering with a hotel will often fulfil this requirement; if unsure, advice should be sought from the Chinese authorities. New Zealanders in China are also advised to carry their passport at all times. Police undertake random checks and failure to provide identification may result in fines and/or detention.
If you're involved in a civil or commercial dispute, or a criminal matter or investigation, you may not be allowed to leave China until the matter is resolved.
New Zealanders are urged to take note of China’s strict, and stringently enforced, laws against the possession, use or sale of illegal substances.
New Zealanders travelling or living in China should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in China are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s SafeTravel website.
The New Zealand Embassy Beijing, China
Street Address 1 Ritan Dongerjie, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600 Telephone +86 10 8532 7000 Email Beijing.firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site https://www.mfat.govt.nz/china Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700 hrs
New Zealand Consulate-General Chengdu, China
Street Address Unit 02, 33F Yanlord Landmark Office Building, No. 1 Section 2, Renmin South Road 610016, Chengdu, Sichuan Telephone +86 28 6132 6672 Fax +86 28 8591 6551 Email email@example.com Web Site www.mfat.govt.nz/china-chengdu Hours Mon-Fri 0830-1200, 1300-1700 hrs
New Zealand Consulate-General Guangzhou, China
Street Address Suite 3006, TaiKoo Hui Tower 1, 385 Tianhe Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510620 Telephone +86 20 8931 9600 Fax +86 20 8931 9610 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site www.mfat.govt.nz/china-guangzhou Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700 hrs
New Zealand Consulate-General Shanghai, China
Street Address 2801-2802A & 2806B-2810, Corporate Avenue 5, 150 Hu Bin Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai 200021 Telephone +86 21 5407 5858 Fax +86 21 5407 5068 Email email@example.com Web Site www.mfat.govt.nz/china-shanghai Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1200, 1300 - 1700 hrs
See our regional advice for North Asia