Virus knows no national borders. Everyone worldwide must take responsibility in fighting the epidemic. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese government has attached great importance to the safety and health of all people in China, including foreigners, and has protected their legitimate rights and interests according to the law. Presently, as the positive trend in preventing and controlling the epidemic in China has been constantly consolidated and expanded, the National Immigration Administration has been collecting relevant legal provisions relating to the rights and obligations of foreigners in China in epidemic prevention and control. All foreigners in China shall strictly abide by the laws and regulations and actively cooperate when measures are taken to prevent the risks caused by the epidemic, for the good of your own health and safety, as well as that of others.
I. According to Constitution of the People's Republic of China and Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China, the legitimate rights and interests of foreigners in China shall be protected by laws. Foreigners in China shall abide by the Chinese laws, and shall not endanger China’s national security, harm public interests and disrupt social and public order.
Article 32 The People’s Republic of China protects the lawful rights and interests of foreigners within Chinese territory; foreigners on Chinese territory must abide by the laws of the People’s Republic of China. ...
Article 3 ...The legitimate rights and interests of foreigners in China shall be protected by law. Foreigners in China shall abide by the Chinese law, and shall not endanger China’s national security, harm public interests and disrupt social and public order.
II. According to Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, foreigners in China shall register their accommodation on time and comply with the identification inspection of public security organs. In addition, according to Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of the People’s Republic of China, and Regulations on Preparedness for and Response to Emergent Public Health Hazards, foreigners in China shall cooperate with the People’s governments at all levels and relevant departments in China when they take monitoring, isolation as well as other measures for effective prevention and control of the spread of infectious diseases and protection of public safety and health.
Article 38 Foreigners having reached the age of 16, who stay or reside in China shall carry with them their passports or other international travel documents, or foreigners’ stay or residence permits, and accept the inspection of public security organs.
Foreigners who reside in China shall, within the prescribed time limit, submit foreigners’ residence permits to public security organs under local people’s governments at or above the county level in the places of residence for examination.
Article 39 Where foreigners stay in hotels in China, the hotels shall register their accommodation in accordance with the regulations on the public security administration of the hotel industry, and submit foreigners’ accommodation registration information to the public security organs in the places where the hotels are located. For foreigners who reside or stay in domiciles other than hotels, they or the persons who accommodate them shall, within 24 hours after the foreigners’ arrival, go through the registration formalities with the public security organs in the places of residence.
Law of the People’s Republic of China on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases
Article 39 …to keep the persons in close contact with the patients, pathogen carriers or suspected patients in medical agencies under medical observation at designated places and to take other necessary preventive measures. With regard to the persons who refuse treatment in isolation or, before the expiration of the period of isolation, break away from treatment in isolation without approval, the public security organs may assist the medical agencies by taking compulsory measures for treatment in isolation...
Article 41 With respect to the places where there are cases of infectious diseases under Class A or to the persons in the special areas within such places, the local people's governments at or above the county level where the above places are located may carry out isolation measures...
Article 12 A person having a quarantinable infectious disease shall be placed in isolation by the frontier health and quarantine office for a period determined by the results of the medical examination, while a person suspected of having a quarantinable infectious disease shall be kept for inspection for a period determined by the incubation period of such disease. ......
Article 44 In the emergent hazard, patients, suspected patients or persons in close contact with patients of infectious diseases, who are required to be isolated for medical treatment, or be subject to medical observation, shall offer cooperation when the competent health administrative departments or relevant institutions take sanitary measures. If they refuse to do so, the public security organs shall assist to enforce these measures according to law.
III. According to Law of the People’s Republic of China on Penalties for Administration of Public Security and Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, whoever refuses health quarantine measures such as health declaration, temperature check, epidemiological investigation and collection of samples, or refuses health treatment measures such as isolation, inspection, local treatment and transfer to other hospitals for treatment shall be held accountable in accordance with law and penalized with a warning, a fine or detention. Wherever a crime is constituted, criminal liabilities shall be investigated in accordance with law.
Law of the People’s Republic of China on Penalties for Administration of Public Security
Article 25 A person who commits one of the following acts shall be detained for not less than 5 days but not more than 10 days and may, in addition, be fined not more than 500 yuan; and if the circumstances are relatively minor, he shall be detained for not more than 5 days or be fined not more than 500 yuan:
(1) intentionally disturbing public order by spreading rumors, making false reports of dangerous situations and epidemic situations or raising false alarms or by other means; ......
Article 50 A person who commits one of the following acts shall be given a warning or be fined not more than 200 yuan; and if the circumstances are serious, he shall be detained for not less than 5 days but not more than 10 days, and may, in addition, be fined not more than 500 yuan:
(1) refusing to carry out the decision or order issued according to law by the people’s government in a state of emergency;
(2) obstructing the staff member of a government department from performing his duties according to law......
Article 114 【arson, crime of breaching a dike, crime of causing explosion, crime of spreading poison and crimes against public security by other dangerous means】Whoever commits arson, breaches dikes, causes explosions, spreads pathogen of infectious diseases, poisonous or radioactive substances or other substances, or uses other dangerous means to endanger public security, but causes no serious consequences, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of no less than three years but no more than ten years.
Article 115 【arson, crime of breaching a dike, crime of causing explosion, crime of spreading poison and crimes against public security by other dangerous means】Whoever commits arson, breaches dikes, causes explosions, spreads pathogens of infectious diseases, poisonous or radioactive substances or other substances, or uses other dangerous means to have inflicted any serious injury or death on people or caused heavy losses of public or private property, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of no less than ten years, life imprisonment or death. Whoever commits the crimes in the preceding paragraph negligently is to be sentenced to not less than three years to not more than seven years of fixed-term imprisonment; or not more than three years of fixed-term imprisonment, or criminal detention, when circumstances are relatively minor.
Article 277 【crime of disrupting public service 】Whoever by means of violence or threat, obstructs a functionary of a State organ from carrying out his functions according to law shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than 3 years, criminal detention, or public surveillance or be fined. ......Whoever during natural calamities or emergencies obstructs, by means of violence or threat, the workers of the Red Cross Society from performing their functions and duties according to law shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the first paragraph.
Article 330 【crime of impairing infectious disease prevention】Whoever, in violation of the provisions of the Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, commits any of the following acts and thus causes the spread or a grave danger of the spread of an A Class infectious disease shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention; if the consequences are especially serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 7 years......(4) refusal to execute the preventive and control measures proposed by the health and anti-epidemic agencies according to the Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
Article 332 【crime of obstructing frontier health and quarantine】Whoever, in violation of the provisions on frontier health and quarantine, causes the spread or a grave danger of the spread of a quarantinable infectious disease shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than 3 years or criminal detention and shall also, or shall only, be fined.
IV. According to Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, where foreigners violate the laws or regulations of China, the public security organ shall make decisions including invalidating, canceling or confiscating their visa or other documents, ordering them to exit China within a time limit, repatriating or deporting them according to their violation circumstances. Repatriated foreigners shall not be allowed to enter China for one to five years, calculating from the date of repatriation. Deported foreigners shall not be allowed to enter China within 10 years calculating from the date of deportation.
Article 62 Under any of the following circumstances, foreigners may be repatriated:(1) Are ordered to exit China within a prescribed time limit but fail to do so; (2) Are involved in circumstances in which they are not allowed to enter China; (3) Illegally reside or work in China; or (4) Need to be repatriated for violation of this Law or other laws or administrative regulations.......Repatriated persons shall not be allowed to enter China for 1 to 5 years, calculating from the date of repatriation.
Article 67 In such cases that the exit/entry documents such as visas or foreigners’ stay or residence permits are damaged, lost or stolen, or that after the issuance of such documents, the holders are found not eligible for being issued such documents, the issuing authorities shall declare the aforesaid documents void. Exit/entry documents which are forged, altered, obtained by fraudulent means or are declared void by issuing authorities shall be invalid. Public security organs may cancel or confiscate the exit/entry documents prescribed in the preceding paragraph or used fraudulently by persons other than the specified holders.
Article 81 Where foreigners engage in activities not corresponding to the purposes of stay or residence, or otherwise violate the laws or regulations of China, which makes them no longer eligible to stay or reside in China, they may be ordered to exit China within a time limit. Where a foreigner’s violation of this Law is serious but does not constitute a crime, the Ministry of Public Security may deport them. The penalty decision made by the Ministry of Public Security shall be final. Deported foreigners shall not be allowed to enter China within 10 years calculating from the date of deportation.
Note：The English version of the above legal provisions is from the official websites of the Supreme People’s Court of PRC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, the National Health Commission of the PRC and other government departments. Parts of the quote are from the www.pkulaw.cn.