Unverified reports emerged after China's National Immigration Administration (NIA) announced a ban on "non-essential" foreign travel by Chinese citizens on May 12. The new policy was on top of already tight measures that regulated interprovincial travel in a bid to stem the spread of the virus. Anecdotal accounts on Chinese social media websites reported increased scrutiny at ports of entry, including additional inquiries about the reasons for travel and the next planned exit. Earlier this month, one flyer who had returned from Bangkok said border officers in Guangzhou, in south China, were cutting the corners of Chinese passports, invalidating them in the process.
In other cases, travelers said green cards and other foreign residency permits were confiscated to discourage more travel, which the Chinese government has identified as among the activities that increases COVID transmission in China.