Top Tips to Stay Safe During the Chinese New Year Travel Rush

With COVID-19 infections on the rise in China, the UK government says travel insurance is more important than ever. Here’s what to know before you go.


Lanterns and temples lit up for Chinese New Year Photo © Getty Images / a.v. Photography
  • Chinese New Year to be celebrated on 22 January
  • 2 billion people expected to take trips over the celebration’s busy travel period
  • UK government says travel insurance ‘more important than ever’.

Media Release: London, UK – With Chinese New Year fast approaching, World Nomads, the global travel insurance company, is advising travellers to China to stay safe during Chunyun, the 40-day period beginning on 7 January that marks the world’s largest annual migration of people.

More than 2 billion people are expected to travel during the New Year celebration, marking a year-on-year increase of 99.5%, reaching 70.3% of 2019 trip numbers.

The holiday period is a time when people traditionally return to their hometowns and families from near and far afield, for what is a country-wide celebration. This year’s festivities are sure to be emotionally charged given the previous three years of strict lockdowns and restrictions implemented under the Chinese government’s zero-COVID measures.

The festivities coincide with China’s decision to ease quarantine requirements from 8 January. The new measures means that some of China’s most stringent travel restrictions for international travellers have been lifted for the first time in three years, including mandatory quarantine requirements.

“China has dropped its COVID-19 quarantine requirements for international visitors, which is a big step toward fully reopening travel with the rest of the world,” said Jonathan Frankham, World Nomads General Manager Europe.

“But we urge travellers to exercise caution: the country is currently in the midst of a severe wave of COVID-19 infections.

“Governments have changed travel warnings to restrict travel during this time because of concerns that new COVID-19 variants may now spread beyond China – and they are evolving day by day.

“If you plan to travel it’s important that you are aware of the situation, your requirements for travel and the advice of your government.”

Travellers to China also need to submit a negative PCR test by filling in the Health Declaration Form – anyone with a positive test result will be unable to board a flight bound for China. As always, travellers must keep abreast of government travel alerts and check government travel advice and restrictions for destination(s), as these may impact insurance cover and the ability to travel.

UK citizens who are considering travelling have been advised by the UK Foreign Office to purchase comprehensive travel insurance.

“It’s important to check and purchase the right level of cover depending on your specific travel plans,” says Frankham. “We would strongly advise UK citizens who are travelling to China to think about purchasing travel insurance that covers COVID-19 to account for the continued risk of testing positive for the disease while abroad.  

“Different levels of coverage and benefit caps apply depending on your policy so read through it carefully and ensure it meets the requirements for your trip.

“Travellers also need to be aware that the UK has reintroduced COVID testing for arrivals from China, following similar moves by the US, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Malaysia and India.”

World Nomads offers two travel insurance plans, Standard or Explorer, for UK travellers to China.

On both the Standard and Explorer Plans, coverage for emergency overseas medical costs is offered. This may include:

  • Hospitalisation;
  • Prescribed medications;
  • Doctor visits;
  • Repatriation to your home if deemed medically necessary;
  • If the worst happens - repatriation of your remains or local cremation or funeral overseas and, when necessary, costs for your next of kin to travel with your remains.

On the Explorer Plan, coverage of some additional costs associated with some COVID-19 related events, are offered. This may include:

  • Cancellation
  • Child and pet-care costs
  • Some quarantine costs.

World Nomads offers the additional following advice for UK travellers to China:

  • Read the travel alerts and check government travel advice and restrictions for destination(s): these may impact cover or the ability to travel
  • Avoid demonstrations or large gatherings
  • Wear face marks, especially in enclosed or crowded environments such as on aeroplanes and public transport: medical face masks are among the most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19
  • Research thoroughly before travelling, as local arrangements are sometimes subject to sudden change: local governments and businesses may still require verification of a negative COVID-19 test result to receive services, even in cases where limitations have been publicly lifted
  • Travellers are advised to pack a supply of medication to treat flu-like symptoms
  • Pack extra supplies of any usual medication in case your return trip is delayed
  • Ensure your accommodation is stocked with additional food and water in case you are forced to isolate.

Find out more about buying travel insurance here.

Media Contact:

Graham Lynch


Phone: +353 876 831 784

About World Nomads

World Nomads is a fast-growing, global travel insurance company. We provide inspirational stories, safety tips and specialised travel insurance for adventurous and independent travellers. Our online travel insurance offers cover to travellers from more than 100 countries and allows you to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.

Our travel insurance focuses on what is important to travellers: cover for emergency medical and evacuation costs, baggage, trip cancellation, trip delay and trip interruption costs. We also offer cover for more than 200 adventure sports and activities, plus tech and gear. Our policies are underwritten by a suite of specialist travel insurers that provide 24/7 emergency assistance, customer service and claims support, making us a top choice for many of the world's leading adventure, independent and youth travel brands.

World Nomads is a part of the nib Group which provides health and medical insurance to more than 1.5 million Australian and New Zealand residents. We also provide health insurance to more than 170,000 international students and workers in Australia and are Australia’s third-largest travel insurer and global distributor of travel insurance through our business nib Travel.