Entry and Exit
Singaporeans who intend to proceed with travel to China, despite the Singapore Ministry of Health’s Public Health Travel Advisory on 18 March 2020 advising Singaporeans to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect, should take note that the Civil Aviation Administration of China has announced that starting from 23 March 2020 at 0000hrs, all international flights bound for Beijing will be diverted to the following 12 first points of entry: Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Hohhot, Shanghai Pudong, Jinan, Qingdao, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Zhengzhou and Xi’an. Passengers on these international flights will undergo health and customs/immigration checks as well as baggage checks at the first points of entry. Passengers who pass the medical checks can thereafter fly to Beijing on the original flight. Otherwise, they may be subject to quarantine in their first points of entry. In view of this development, Singaporeans travelling from Singapore to Beijing are strongly advised to check with their respective airlines on the updated flight plans before they proceed with travelling.
Singaporeans travelling to China, or those currently in China and considering travelling to other provinces within China, may be subject to home or institutional quarantine for 14 days, depending on the province that they are travelling to. Singaporeans transiting from international to domestic flights in China may also be subject to swab tests and will have to wait for the test results at the transiting airport (which can take up to 24 hours) before they are allowed to board their next flight. Before travelling, Singaporeans are strongly advised to check with the local authorities, as well as the hotel or residential compound that they will be staying in, on the quarantine and other policies that they should adhere to.
Safety and Security
Lost passports: Singaporeans who lost their passports while travelling in China should report the loss to a neighbourhood police post or the relevant Chinese authority (it is usually the local Entry-Exit Administration Bureau). Please request for a copy of the Loss of Passport Report. Together with the report from the Police or the relevant authority, please approach the Singapore Embassy with one passport-sized photograph (instant photograph is acceptable). The person concerned should also show documentary evidence of his/her citizenship (the document should preferably have your photo on it, eg. NRIC or driving license), if available.
If you wish to return to Singapore immediately, a Document of Identity (DOI) may be issued to you upon confirmation of your citizenship from the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). With the DOI, you are required to go to the local Entry-Exit Administration Bureau to obtain an Exit Permit before you could leave China. You may be required to prove to the Entry-Exit Administration Bureau that you have registered with a hotel or a local police station when you first arrived in China. This is to facilitate investigation by the Entry-Exit Administration Bureau before they could issue you with an Exit Permit to leave China. It normally takes about 5 working days to obtain the Exit Permit for foreigners who have lost their passports in China.
Crime: China is generally safe, particularly in the major cities. Serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare. Nonetheless, foreign visitors should be vigilant against theft and pickpockets for instance at major tourist sites.
Beware of fraud: Foreigners have been the target of a number of scams when travelling in China. Please take an authorised taxi where possible.
Road Safety: Pedestrians should be alert at all times to unexpected oncoming traffic. Drivers should note that there are stiff penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.
China has a good public transport system. You will need a valid ID (e.g. passport) to buy a train ticket and may need to show it again before boarding.
Weather: Weather conditions vary across China. The rainy season occurs between April and October. Typhoons can occur in the South and East coasts between May and November. Please monitor the local weather report before travelling to any part of China. Some provinces such as Sichuan and Yunnan are prone to earthquakes as they lie within the active seismic zone.
In case of air pollution, those susceptible to respiratory problems can consider bringing along masks for travel. The Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China (www.mep.gov.cn) provides a daily update on the Air Quality Index for major cities in China.
All foreigners should abide by local laws. The penalties for drug offences are severe.
In accordance to the Chinese Exit-Entry Administration Law, all foreigners are required to register with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) within 24 hours of arrival. If you are staying at a hotel, the hotel staff will normally register you with the PSB as part of their check-in process. Otherwise, you will have to register yourself at the nearest police station.
Foreigners above 16 years of age are expected to carry their passports with them at all times. Random checks may be carried out by Police during periods of heightened security and political events.
There are restrictions on political activities for foreigners, including participating in public protests. Travellers should exercise caution to avoid any demonstrations and large gatherings.
General Travel Advice
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]
In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.
In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
· Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
· Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
· Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
· eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.
· Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
· Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
· Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.
· Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.
Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]
There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.