Chinese New Year 2023
13 Jan 2023
Chinese New Year falls on 22 January 2023. It will be the year of the Rabbit. Celebrations will last for 14 days, concluding with the Lantern Festival on 5 February 2023.
Because of the sheer scale of this festival, there is an increased risk of infections spreading between people, with COVID-19 now representing a new problem that was never there previously.
Advice to Travellers
When large crowds of people gather in one location, the risk of accidents and injuries occurring can increase:
- make sure you obtain comprehensive travel insurance to cover the duration of your trip and any planned activities, including cover for COVID-19-related illnesses.
The potential health risks you may encounter in China will depend on:
- the duration of your trip
- the areas of China which you plan to visit
- any planned activities during your trip
- how you plan to travel around China (e.g. air, rail, river cruise)
- your age, if you are pregnant, and/or if you have any pre-existing health conditions
See the fitfortravel China country page for further information on potential health risks.
Infectious diseases can spread easily between people in crowds. Therefore it is important to
- ensure you are up to date with UK schedule vaccines including MMR, polio, COVID-19 and flu (influenza) vaccines (as eligible)
- try to maintain good respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene measures and avoid crowded areas that are not well-ventilated
There are many other health problems which you might encounter on your trip that cannot be prevented by vaccinations. Therefore you must take other general precautions when travelling including:
- food and water precautions
- avoidance of insect bites and animal bites
- practicing safe sex
- reduce threats to your personal safety
- checking advice if you are travelling with medications
If you think you may need vaccines or travel advice before your trip, you should arrange a travel health risk assessment. Remember it is never too late to seek advice.
China is currently experiencing a large increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Although many COVID-19 restrictions in China have recently been lifted, local services may still be impacted, and movement of people may still be restricted in some areas. Therefore, before booking your trip, you should consider:
- reviewing the latest FCDO foreign travel advice for China, including entry requirements and quarantine restrictions, and be aware that restrictions can change at short notice
- check with your airline for updates on routes, schedules and ticketing, and details of any changes in pre-departure COVID-19 testing if required
- know how to reduce your risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) during travel – see the COVID-19: Health Considerations for Travel page for details
- be aware that access to medical facilities and/or supplies of medication in China may be impacted due to the large increase in COVID-19 case numbers currently being experienced
As of 5 January 2023, all travellers arriving in England from mainland China are required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test:
- see the related news item regarding Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing for Travellers Arriving in England from China for further information on what you need to do if this affects you.
If you are transiting to the UK via another country, you should check travel advice for that country before your departure, as other countries may also introduce travel or testing restrictions for those arriving from China.
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Avian influenza (more commonly known as 'bird flu') is a flu virus that spreads among birds. Rarely, the virus can spread to people who have had close contact with infected birds and causes a 'flu-like' illness, which can be severe.
Although human cases of bird flu are rare, you should know the disease exists and how to reduce your risk of infection
- See the Avian Influenza page for further information
If you become unwell after returning home to the UK, particularly with symptoms of a high temperature (fever) and/or respiratory symptoms, you should call your GP or NHS 111 and inform the health professional of your recent travel history.