Virginia, US

Jan 27 2020

Departure and Entry Bans Implemented to Contain Coronavirus

China, Hong Kong, Taiwan

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, there has been a departure ban in Wuhan City, Mainland China, and entry bans have been implemented in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Details include:

  • Wuhan City, Mainland China departure ban. As of January 23, 2020, departure from Wuhan City, Mainland China has been temporarily banned via airports and railways due to the spread of the coronavirus. This particularly impacts foreign nationals in Wuhan City who need to renew their temporary residence permits in order to remain compliant with Mainland Chinese immigration laws during this departure ban.
  • Taiwan entry ban. Effective January 27, 2020, the National Immigration Agency in Taiwan is barring Chinese nationals who are residents of or whose household is in Hubei Province, Mainland China, from entering Taiwan, even if they hold a valid Entry Permit for Taiwan. 
  • Hong Kong entry ban.  Effective January 27, 2020, residents from Hubei Province in Mainland China and persons who visited the Hubei Province in the past 14 calendar days cannot enter Hong Kong until further notice. This ban does not affect Hong Kong residents. 

 

Many countries have issued travel warnings to the Asia-Pacific region since the coronavirus was first detected in late December 2019 in Mainland China. Fragomen is tracking this situation and will report on other relevant travel impacts.

The situation

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, there has been a departure ban in Wuhan City, Mainland China, and entry bans have been implemented in Taiwan and Hong Kong. 

A closer look

 

Departure ban in Wuhan City, Mainland China

  • Ban details. As of January 23, 2020, departure channels such as airports and railways from Wuhan City, Mainland China have been temporarily closed to prevent and control the spread of the coronavirus. To ensure the stay rights of visa-exempt foreign nationals and those with temporary visa or residence permits are not affected during the temporary closure of departure channels, the Wuhan Public Security Bureau has implemented the following temporary policies:
    • Foreign nationals whose visa-free stay validity or whose visa or residence permit expires during the temporary closure of departure channels or those showing signs of infection requiring isolation for treatment will not be subject to penalties for the overstay with the Exit-Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China. However, they must submit stay visa or residence permit application within 10 business days after the end of Temporary Departure Closure or the end of the isolation for treatment. 
  • Penalties for non-renewal. Foreign nationals who do not apply for the appropriate stay or residence permit within 10 business days of the end of the temporary closure of departure channels or their isolation for treatment will be subject to penalties according to the Exit-Entry Administration Law. This can include a warning, and where circumstances are serious, a fine of CNY 500 per day up to a maximum of CNY 10,000, or detention between five and 15 days.

 

Entry ban in Taiwan

  • Ban details. Effective January 27, 2020, the National Immigration Agency in Taiwan is barring Chinese nationals who are residents of or whose household is in Hubei Province, Mainland China, from entering Taiwan, even if they hold a valid Entry Permit for Taiwan. This is in effect until further notice.
  • Exception. This ban does not affect Mainland Chinese nationals who hold a Taiwan Exit Entry Permit (EEP) for family reunion, holders of a Taiwan dependent EEP as the spouse of a Taiwanese, or Mainland Chinese nationals studying in Taiwan.

 

Entry ban in Hong Kong for Hubei Province visitors

  • Ban details. Effective January 27, 2020, residents from Hubei Province in Mainland China and persons who visited the Hubei Province in the past 14 calendar days cannot enter Hong Kong until further notice. This ban does not affect Hong Kong residents. 
  • Impact. All self-service clearance channels (i.e. e-Channels) at control points will only be open to Hong Kong residents. Non-Hong Kong residents must use normal immigration counters for immigration clearance, which means their immigration clearance process may take longer during this ban.

 

Lunar New Year closure extensions

  • On January 27, 2020, the General Office of the State Council issued an official announcement that the Lunar New Year Public holiday will be extended through February 2 – government agencies will resume work on February 3, 2020. The Wuhan Public Security Bureau will open February 3 to accept visa or residence permits applications for foreign nationals. 
  • The Shanghai Municipal People’s Government has announced that all private businesses (with some exceptions) in Shanghai cannot resume work before  February 10, 2020.
  • The Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government has announced that all private businesses (with some exceptions) in Hangzhou cannot resume work before  February 10, 2020.

Background

Many countries have issued travel warnings to the Asia-Pacific region since the coronavirus was first detected in late December 2019 in Mainland China. Travelers to the region should check government websites or with their immigration provider for updated travel warnings and should allow sufficient time for health checks at entry points in the Asia-Pacific destination country.

Looking ahead

Fragomen will continue to monitor these policies and provide updates as needed.

Foreign nationals affected by these policies can contact their Fragomen immigration provider for advice.

 

Fragomen in China is Fragomen (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in China. Fragomen Hong Kong is Fragomen (Hong Kong) Limited, operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in Hong Kong. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected] (Mainland China) and [email protected] (Hong Kong and Taiwan).