China Travel Alert
Issued by US Department of State
Sep 25, 2009
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the quarantine measures imposed by the Government of China in response to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic that may affect travel to China. This Travel Alert updates the July 9, 2009, Travel Alert in order to advise U.S. citizens of the current quarantine situation. This Travel Alert expires on December 30, 2009.
In May 2009, China implemented a policy that allows it to quarantine arriving passengers who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms. Although the overall percentage of U.S. citizens being quarantined remains low, the nature of the selection process makes it almost impossible to predict when a traveler may be placed into quarantine. From May to August 2009, the Department of State received thousands of reports of quarantined U.S. citizens. Since September, however, reports of U.S. citizens in quarantine have been infrequent.
In preparation for the October Chinese national holidays and for the fall/winter 2009 influenza season, local and provincial governments were tasked by the Chinese State Council on September 11 to strengthen disease control and mitigation measures, which could affect residents and travelers. Local and provincial policies towards 2009-H1N1 Influenza may remain unpredictable.
Although in July 2009 home quarantine was permitted as an option for some confirmed 2009-H1N1 Influenza cases, travelers are advised that quarantine in a designated hospital or facility remains a possibility. Quarantine practices, including the separation of children from their parents or guardians, can vary by location. In some quarantine situations, there exists the possibility of Chinese medical personnel administering medications to minors without parental permission; the unavailability of suitable drinking water and food; unsanitary conditions; lack of telephone access; absence of English-speaking staff; and limited availability of English-language interpreters. Travelers may also experience delays at airports, railway stations and other locations due to health screenings.
Travelers are advised that 2009-H1N1 vaccines approved by foreign regulatory bodies might be commercially available in China in the upcoming months. However, the U.S. Government has evaluated only those vaccines that are licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
All foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, are obliged to follow local procedures regarding quarantines and any other public health-related measures. The U.S. officials are unable to influence the duration of stay in quarantine for affected travelers. The Chinese government will not compensate people for lost travel expenses. Travelers to China are urged to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect against losses in the event they are quarantined.
For more information on U.S. Government policy during a pandemic, and for travel safety information, please see the State Department’s “Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet,” and “Options During a Pandemic” flyers. Further information about 2009-H1N1 Influenza, including steps you can take to stay healthy, can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website the U.S. Government’s federal influenza website, and the World Health Organization website.
U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the Department of State’s travel registration website. By registering, American citizens can receive the Embassy’s most recent security and safety updates during their trip. Registration also ensures that U.S. citizens can be reached should an emergency arise either abroad or at home. While consular officers will do their utmost to assist Americans in a crisis, travelers should always be aware that local authorities bear primary responsibility for the welfare of people living or traveling in their jurisdictions.
Beijing: The U.S. Embassy is located at No. 55 An Jia Lou Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing. The American Citizen Services section can be contacted during regular business hours and for after-hours emergencies at (86)(10) 8531-4000 or at [email protected] The Embassy consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai, Gansu, and Xinjiang.
Chengdu: The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu is located at Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu, Chengdu 610041; tel. (86)(28) 8558-3992, 8555-3119, Email: [email protected] For after-hours emergencies please call (86)(28) 1370 800 1422. This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Chongqing, Guizhou, Sichuan, Tibet, and Yunnan.
Guangzhou: The main office of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou is located at Number 1 South Shamian Street, Shamian Island 200S1, Guangzhou 510133. The Consular Section, including the American Citizens Services Unit, is now located at 5th Floor, Tianyu Garden (II phase), 136-146 Lin He Zhong Lu, Tianhe District; tel. (86)(20) 8518-7605; after-hours emergencies (86)(20) 8121-8000, Email: [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi, and Hainan.
Shanghai: The Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai is located in the Westgate Mall, 8th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai 200041; tel. (86)(21) 3217-4650; after-hours emergencies (86)(21) 6433-3936. Email: [email protected] This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
Shenyang: The U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang is located at No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang 110003; tel. (86)(24) 2322-1198; Email: [email protected] For after-hours emergencies (86)(24) 137-0988-9307. This consular district includes the following provinces/regions of China: Liaoning, Heilongjiang, and Jilin.
13. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.