I have a return flight from Beijing to Ningbo (11-16 November, 2020), i.e., domestic flights within China (where I live; Chinese green card). I'm not sure if it's "business as usual" with these flights, or if there are additional measures I should take prior to these flights.

Question: Are there additional restrictions on domestic flights within China due to COVID-19 in November 2020?

I didn't immediately find the answer through obvious searches like china domestic flights requirements.

  • I take it you're already in China, and not coming in from another country? Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 10:11
  • Yes, that's right. I live here, and have been here continuously for over a year (since before the pandemic). Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


Question: Are there additional restrictions on domestic flights within China due to COVID-19 in November 2020?

No unless your departure area is medium- or high-risk. https://www.china-briefing.com/news/chinas-travel-restrictions-due-to-covid-19-an-explainer/ (mirror) (published on September 23, 2020):

Similarly, from March 28, all international flights to Shanghai are directed to Pudong Airport. All passengers entering Shanghai from abroad, including those transferring in Shanghai, will be subject to virus testing and centralized quarantine for 14 days. Domestic travelers may not need to be quarantined if they come from low-risk areas.

Domestically, many provinces and cities require mandatory home-based or centralized quarantine for inbound travelers either from overseas or other Chinese provinces and cities that are at medium- or high-risk level, although the policy details can differ.

I assume Ningbo has a similar policy as Shanghai since it's next to it.

See https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:heTppeYwX_UJ:https://www.china-briefing.com/news/chinas-travel-restrictions-due-to-covid-19-an-explainer/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us (mirror) on how to check the risk of an area via wechat:

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  • Otherwise +1, but Ningbo is an different province (Zhejiang), so they may not apply the same rules as Shanghai. Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 4:28

To answer my own question now that my trip is over...

There was an additional restriction of "not having traveled outside of China in the last 40 days 14 days" (I thought I heard “40 days” but it was probably “14 days” in hindsight; they sound similar in Chinese: 十四 vs. 四十). I boarded the plane at Beijing Daxing airport and they took me aside and checked my passport for stamps. I did not see any signage anywhere throughout the trip.

As usual nowadays in China, there was also a QR code that required scanning before entering airports (which turns green if you're okay to go). Since Beijing and Ningbo use different systems, I was a bit confused.

Aside from that, domestic plane travel within China was as usual (except to wear a face mask when possible). It didn't take substantially longer.

Some other points:

  • Staff at Beijing Daxing airport were far more rigorous, and there were more questions than at Ningbo airport. In fact, at Ningbo airport, about 30% of people weren't wearing face masks around the airport (which is basically unthinkable in Beijing).

  • My impression is that the airport staff cannot easily explain the (new) regulations in English. I can speak some Chinese, which helped.

  • There were some additional measures like temperature checks, and hand sanitizer was provided. (All very routine nowadays.)

  • The hotel may have had its own restrictions in place. To be safe, I went for a coronavirus test shortly prior to my trip (it was 70 yuan at one of several possible hospitals in Beijing, and it was done out the front of the hospital---the test results were reported on WeChat, so I only needed a single trip; it took me a long time to figure out what to actually do). When I checked into the hotel in Ningbo, I was feeling tired so I just gave them my phone to check; I'm not sure what they actually checked. We didn't need to wear a face mask around the hotel in Ningbo (in fact, wearing face masks was rare throughout Ningbo).

  • After I got back, the WeChat app on my phone (健康宝 used in Beijing) stopped working until I logged in where I had traveled. (I didn't realize this until I tried to enter a building.)

  • Are you sure its 40 and not 14? Thanks for a great answer!
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 3:38
  • 1
    Ah, that sounds logical. I guess it’s probable I misheard it, and it’s 14 as per Franck Dernoncourt’s answer (and the 2-week length of quarantine for incoming travelers). Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 3:53
  • 2
    feel free to select your own answer as authoritative and most helpful to you, after the time limit to do so expires. (2 days?)
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 12:59

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