Updated: 27th March
China will Temporarily Close Border to Foreigners from Saturday, 28th March
In a measure to reduce the number of imported cases of COVID-19 China will temporarily not be allowing most foreigners in to the country, even those with existing work visas and resident permits. It is as yet unknown when the border will be reopened but we will be sure to update this article over the coming days, when we know more. For more details see these articles from The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, The Beijinger and Bloomberg.
Life in China Returning to Normal
China’s strict efforts of lockdown, social distancing and mask wearing across the country have worked. The numbers of new cases in each city since late February have been zero or close to zero. On 19th March China announced zero new locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus across the entire country. Cities are returning to normal with people returning to work and schools in multiple provinces announcing their reopening for late March and early April, with precautions still being taken with temperature readings and mask wearing. Read more about this here and here. Read an article from one of our teachers in Chengdu here.
Quarantine for People Flying in to China
China is now focusing on screening and quarantining people entering the country for 14 days, to ensure the country remains safe and prevent a second wave of infections. 22nd March saw 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Beijing, all flying in from overseas. People flying in to China to begin their English teaching jobs should be aware of the procedures in place, so they can know what to expect on arrival.
Procedures for quarantine
The exact procedures for quarantine vary slightly from city to city:
Passengers who have visited high-risk countries will have to undergo a 14 day quarantine at home or at designated places. More details on the procedure when flying in to Guangzhou, in the south of China, are given here.
Starting from March 17, passengers who have lived or traveled in high-risk countries in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Shanghai airport will be taken to for a health check and may be required to be quarantined in designed government provided facilities. Please see this article for the procedure when arriving at Shanghai airport.
Here’s an article from someone who went through the quarantine in Shanghai.
Here’s an article about a family that underwent home quarantine.
Starting 22nd March all flights to Beijing will be rerouted to one of 12 Chinese cities prior to landing in Beijing. Passengers will go through a quarantine inspection (health check) and customs clearance. Passengers who pass the health inspection can fly on to Beijing on the original flight. Passengers who need to complete 14 days of quarantine will be able to do so in the city they were rerouted to. This article and this one include more details on the process.
The Chinese government covers the cost of the COVID-19 testing. However the cost of quarantine hotel / facility and food is not covered. Typically the cost is around 350 RMB per day (approx. 50 USD). We have spoken to schools around China and some of them are covering the cost of the entire quarantine period including food. Please check with your school on whether or not they will cover the cost for you.
Schools in China Announcements on Quarantine
“Our onboarding team is working to make sure they have at least precise details before you can get on a flight. For now, there are two things we can say for sure. The first is that the school will be covering the cost of the quarantine for you. The second is that we will be coordinating the arrival times of our new incoming employees so that we can work to make it as convenient for you as possible.”
School in Beijing
“Candidates that do not need to be quarantined by the government will do the self quarantine at the dorms. If an individual needs to be quarantined by the government we will go ahead and cover the costs”
School in Shanghai
A number of schools we spoke to have confirmed that they will run teacher training / orientation sessions while the teacher is in quarantine. That way, the teacher’s salary will be paid starting from the training in quarantine. Some will also have teachers begin teaching online during the quarantine. This may not be the case with all schools, so please confirm directly with your school.
China is now a very safe place to live and work. COVID-19 numbers are down to nearly zero. People entering the country from badly affected countries are being quarantined to help keep everyone else safe. Businesses and schools are set up with strict protocols to ensure safety, including temperature checks, mask wearing, social distancing. People aren’t taking any risks.