Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 3:00pm local time
As we are looking at travel to and from China resuming at some point, we have archived a lot of the old — and by now obsolete — information and split the Covid-19 reporting articles into three parts: this one with travel updates within China, coming to China or leaving China, one with Covid-19 news and health information and one with government and business information. We hope this is helpful in finding the information you need.
These articles will be updated live — see date and time above — with verified news from trusted and official sources regarding the Coronavirus situation and how it impacts the lives of people living or travelling in Kunming and the rest of Yunnan. A lot of misinformation has been spread through WeChat groups and we hope that this article can provide a stable reference point.
We are working with a small team of news gatherers and verifiers, both foreign and Chinese. We are checking Chinese government information, national and international news sources, social media, academic resources and information from a couple of foreign embassies in China.
Below information is organized by topic which you can quickly access through the menu above. We will update the publishing date and time of this article as it is updated, so you will know how old the information in the article is.
If you have important news please email vera [at] gokunming [dot] com or contact us through the contact form. After verification it will be added to the article if relevant for Kunming and Yunnan residents.
Please register with the embassy of your own country for updates.
Most embassies now advise travellers to avoid travel to China, or if they are already here to leave China by their own means if they have no reason to be here (this is up to every individual to decide what that means), and to not travel to Hubei province.
Monday February 3 update: The USA is not accepting visitors from China — also for people who are only transiting in the USA.. USA citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family can still travel to the USA but might be asked to stay quarantined for two weeks upon arrival.
More countries are closing their borders to travelers from China, so please check with your airline, and the IATA link provided in the 'border info' section.
International travel updates
We will post developments with regards to changes in entry requirements and flights to China in general here — info that is relevant for travellers wishing to come (back) to China.
Tuesday June 16 update: This map by IATA — the International Air Transport Association — gives some insight in international travel restrictions (and how that affects flights, transfers etc).
Monday June 1 update: Transit through Hongkong airport is not yet possible.
Friday May 22 update: The restrictions on international flights to and from China have been extended until at least October. This means in effect that foreign nationals cannot enter China, unless you are eligible for a rare exemption — diplomats etc.
Thursday March 26 update: China suspends all travel of foreigners coming to China per March 28. This includes all foreigners holding a valid visa or a residence permit.
Please note that travelers who withhold or conceal travel history details may be held liable.
Airport and flights
Here is a handy overview of restrictions imposed by countries around the world with regards to travelers from mainland China, by IATA — the International Air Transport Association.
The border crossing with Laos is still closed and Laos is not issuing visas to travelers coming from China.
Saturday February 8 update: Visas to visitors from China are no longer issued at the Laos border
Friday May 29 update: Vietnam will open the borders and start issuing visas again as of July 1. Follow the link for details on borders, nationalities and application procedure. Please note — this does NOT mean that you can reenter China from Vietnam, until further notice.
Monday February 3 update: Vietnam has suspended all flights to and from China. (proxy needed). We have no confirmation as yet on the land border. No visas are issued to people who have been to China in the last two weeks.
Friday May 8 update: Thailand extends travel ban until end of May
Friday March 27 update: A Thai emergency decree bars all foreigners from entering the country until April 30
Domestic travel updates
Tuesday June 16 update: Here is more info about the measures taken in each province with regards to travellers from Beijing or high-risk areas.
Monday June 15 update: quarantine and Covid-19 tests may be imposed on travellers coming to Kunming from outbreak areas elsewhere in China. A green health code is mandatory in order to enter Kunming without further measures.
Monday June 15 update: Due to recent Covid-19 outbreaks in Beijing and elsewhere in China it is expected that interprovincial travelers will face more questions and scrutiny, from authorities but also from employers (schools). Contrary to rumours, there is no outbreak in Xi'an. Please check with your employer and plan your trips accordingly.
Trains and interprovincial buses are operating as normal — expect however more hassle: a temperature check, lots of questions, show your green code. Allow for extra time at the bus- or train station, be patient and wear a mask.
Kunming Airport is open and functioning as usual apart from extra temperature checks. The official advice is to come early and allow time for the extra checks. You can follow the Yunnan Airport Group (YAG) WeChat account for updates — kunmingairport is their WeChat ID.
Travel within Yunnan
Thursday April 30 update: teachers and students are not allowed to travel outside Kunming during the Labor Day holidays.
Monday April 27 update: We are continuing to add hotels in the Yunnan tourist destinations that are happy to welcome foreign visitors. If you know of more places that welcome foreign guests, please let us know. In general: please check before you travel if your hotel currently accepts foreign guests. Allow for extra time at the train station and have your 'green code' ready to present at the train station and at your hotel.
Wednesday April 22 update: Traveling within Yunnan province is possible but expect more hassle — extra checks at the train station and less options for accommodation. Please check with your hotel if they do indeed accept foreigners and what their requirements are. It can help to point out that you have the health app with a 'green code' and share your travel history. The people at trip.com are very helpful in checking with the hotels for you, and even looking for nearby hotels that do accept foreigners if your hotel of choice does not. A health certificate — to be obtained at your community health clinic — might be helpful but is not a requirement.
Thursday February 13 update: All highway exit closures within Kunming's jurisdiction have been lifted and traffic is resuming as normal..
Wednesday April 22 update: Please plan for half an hour extra at the train station, as a health check and checking in with a new app (similar to the 'green code' health code app) are now required for foreigners.
Official WeChat account for China Railway: chineserailways. Kunming Railway: kmtl2013
Dali and Xizhou
Lijiang and Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tuesday June 2 update: Tiger Leaping Gorge is open to international tourists. Please call 13988707922 in advance.
Tuesday April 28 update: Foreigners can not hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge but they can visit the upper gorge and viewing platform.
Follow these official WeChat news accounts from Lijiang for updates: Ljrbqmt (丽江日报) or ljdb8885566 (丽江读本)
Tuesday April 28 update: The Shika cable car is closed.
Tuesday April 28 update: The toll gate to Lugu Lake will not let foreigners pass.
Jianshui & Yuanyang rice terraces
These hotels are happy to welcome foreign guests: Timeless Hostel.
These hotels are happy to welcome foreign guests: Jinghong Yourantai B&B
Follow the official Xishuangbanna Radio and TV WeChat account for updates: XSBNRTV
Ruili / Dehong
Local residents who have been traveling have been asked to stay away from Ruili until February 9.. No news on the border, but it's closed to foreigners anyhow.
Travel within Kunming
Public transport and taxis
A mask is now required for Didi drivers as well as passengers.
Buses are operating as usual. A mask is required to get on the bus. Official WeChat account of Kunming Bus: kmbus_weixin
The subway is operating as usual. Facemasks are now required for entry into the Kunming Metro system, as well as a green 'health code'. Official WeChat account of Kunming subway: gh_2b8d94a97c82
Parks have reopened, with measures in place to register and control the number of visitors.
Thursday April 16 update: the following hotels and guesthouses will gladly accept foreigners.
We are currently asking around and adding to the list as we go.
Thank you everyone in the international community in Kunming for sticking together in this difficult time. A special thanks to our Chinese friends who are helping to make Chinese news accessible and therefor being a true bridge between cultures.
In order to stem hearsay and fake news no comments will be open for this article.
If you have important news please email vera [at] gokunming [dot] com or contact us through the contact form. After verification it will be added to the article if relevant for Kunming and Yunnan residents.© Copyright 2005-2020 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.