Update travel advice from Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Thursday, 13 February 2020

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The British Consulates-General in Wuhan and Chongqing are currently closed. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be at heightened risk.

The Chinese government continues to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. These restrictions include the closure of some provincial highways and the cancellation of many inter-city rail services. Internal flights continue to operate at much reduced levels. Separately, there are tight controls on entry and exit to villages and townships across the country, and varying degrees of restriction on movement within every province, and individual cities and municipalities. Provinces exercising the most restrictions include Chongqing, Zhejiang, Anhui and Heilongjiang. A large number of airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have announced a suspension of flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder to access departure options over the coming weeks.

A number of countries have announced restrictions on entry by travellers from China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Given the fast-changing situation, you should check the latest FCO travel advice (including entry requirements) for your destination and anywhere you are transiting through, and check with your airline before you travel.

Since 31 January, some staff and dependants from the British Embassy and Consulates are being withdrawn. Essential staff needed to continue critical work, including consular assistance, will remain. British Consulates-General in Shanghai and Guangzhou will – for the immediate future – continue to provide essential travel documentary services to British nationals wishing to leave China (but no other consular assistance). The ability of the British Embassy and Consulates to provide face-to-face assistance to British nationals from within China is currently limited, and would be even more limited in the event that the situation deteriorates further. British nationals in China who need consular support should call +86 (0)10 8529 6600 or the FCO in London on +44 (0) 207 008 1500.