top of page

The journey home - a must! Current strategies for returning to China

Return to China during the epidemic + exchange of experience on nucleic acid serum tests + isolation policy, life in quarantine

Mr. D. (holder of a blue card in Germany) went on a business trip from China to Germany for his business and stayed there for 8 days.

The following texts are based on Mr. D.'s personal experience after his return to China and during his quarantine. They serve as pointers for people who are in the same situation or who are going to travel to China soon.

Necessary steps for returning home:

Step 1: nucleic acid and antibody detection

Immediately after his arrival in Germany, Mr. D. decided to go for a private clinic with quick results, affordable prices, and good service for tests. The test can also be carried out at any German airport but is of no comparison to the service and price-performance ratio of private clinics in Germany. If you have a lot of time, it is advised to have this carried out at the test center in your city or in its vicinity. It should be noted here that it is best to make an appointment at least a week in advance.

Mr. D. flew back to his homeland from Frankfurt to Shanghai at 2 p.m. on September 28th. He made an appointment for the tests the day before departure at a private clinic in Cologne. Since we arrived early, we were done with it by 11 a.m.

Note: We recommend taking the test one day in advance and contact the private clinic at least a few days before the needed appointment.

The cost of the PCR nucleic acid + IgM antibody test in the private clinic chosen by Mr. D. was 132 euros (cash only). Mr. D. received the result in 15 minutes on-site in printed form. Upon request, it can also be requested to be sent by e-mail. However, we recommend the on-site variant.

Note: It must be emphasized that this is the test that is required to return to China!

Step 2: Upload the test results and certificates to get the "OK" from the consulate (green code)

After receiving the test results, Mr. D. immediately uploaded the test certificate and other related documents via the embassy app. Mr. D. was vaccinated with the SINOVAC vaccine in China, so he also uploaded the vaccination card.

Note: Since Mr. D. took the test in Cologne, he submitted it to the Düsseldorf consulate. If the test is carried out at Frankfurt Airport, it must be submitted to the Frankfurt Consulate.

Problems arose during the approval of the "OK" from the consulate:

After uploading and transmitting the documents and information to the consulate, Mr. D. received the message that the embassy could not give an "OK" within 20 minutes. The underlying explanation of the embassy was that the test result was too quick, and the embassy staff judged the result as not "real" based on experience. Since this answer was not acceptable to Mr. D. and us as his legal representative, we went back to the private practice in which we carried out the test shortly before. The doctor in the private practice and the nurse who carried out the tests were very cooperative when we explained the situation to them. We called the person in charge at the consulate personally to explain that the results are available quickly at the private clinic, as the clinic has its own laboratory. None of the people tested here have had any problems with sending their certification of the test results prior. At the request of the consulate, Dr. Lühr, and his employees wrote a handwritten certificate to prove that the test results from Mr. D. were correct in terms of time and law.

Note: Please ask the doctor or the practice to write the time for the test (removal) in the report so that it is clearly distinguishable from the test result on the document!

We thank Dr. Lühr and his employees for their competent and quick help!


Private practice Dr. Kai Lühr

Mittelstrasse 7

50672 Cologne

After Mr. D. received the handwritten certificate from the clinic and uploaded it again via the app provided by the consulate, he, unfortunately, received a refusal on the second attempt after about an hour and a half.

The reason according to the consulate this time: The embassy demands that travelers in Germany must be "quarantined" for 21 days before they can return to China. Mr. D. explained to the clerk: “I came to Germany on an urgent matter on a business trip. I was in Germany for a total of 8 days. 21 days of isolation is unreasonable." The clerk informed him that it was necessary for Mr. D.'s domestic company to provide him with his travel destinations and places he stayed for these eight days.

Mr. D. immediately contacted his colleagues at his company in China. "Fortunately, my colleagues in the company worked hard and sent me the emergency travel plan even after their working hours," says Mr. D. After receiving the documents with the official seal of the company, he uploaded them to the consulate's app.

All this waiting and uncertainty on the embassies part resulted in a lot of stress and damaged nerves. After the third upload and another wait for about an hour, Mr. D. finally got the "OK" (green code) from the consulate! You could feel the immediate relaxation of everyone involved in the air. After a night in a hotel in the Frankfurt Airport, Mr. D. got on his flight smoothly and returned home the next day with the green code!

Step 3: Arrival at the airport & quarantine at the hotel

After you get off the plane, a nucleic acid test will be carried out at the airport. If this comes back negative, you will go to the hotel, where you will have to stay during your quarantine. You cannot select the hotel in advance. The process is randomized, and you cannot influence it.

The hotel assigned to Mr. D. is located in the Songjiang District, Shanghai. There were two fee levels to choose from:

200 RMB (hotel fee) + 100 RMB (meal) / day

400 RMB (hotel fee) + 100 RMB (meal) / day

Mr D. decided on the more expensive alternative.

Hotel photos from Mr. D.:

Photos of quarantine meals from Mr. D:

The latest Shanghai Quarantine Policy:

Step 4: home insulation

Currently, Mr. D. is still in quarantine in the hotel. His final destination is Shanghai, and he needs to be quarantined at home for 7 days. After 14 days of quarantine at the hotel, the code changes from red to yellow. Two nucleic acid tests will be performed during the 7-day home isolation period. After the nucleic acid test comes back negative for both, the code changes from yellow to green after a total of 21 days quarantine (14 days in a hotel, 7 days at home).

We wish you all a smooth return to China!


Written by:

Liongate Consulting's company philosophy is to be there for our fellow people. We have an open ear for each of our customers and are happy to help you with your problems with advice from us.

Xianlong Meng-Kaiser



bottom of page