For updates the China border reopening and work visa application process please see this article.
Last updated: 22 October 2020
COVID-19 cases under control in China
The number of new cases of the coronavirus reported across China since March has been extremely low, as China’s strict measures to contain the virus in early 2020 have paid off. The small number of new cases have mostly been imported cases, from people entering China from overseas and they have been put under quarantine to remove the chance of spreading the virus.
Schools across China re-open in May & June
Life in China has returned to normal with schools, businesses and shops all open, albeit with safety measures in place, such as mask wearing and social distancing. Public schools, kindergartens and private language schools in provinces all over China have been open for face to face classes for some months now.
Read an article written by one of our teachers, Joel, about his first face to face class back at school in May 2020 here.
On 12th March the Ministry of Education in China released their ‘Guidelines on COVID-19 Prevention and Control’ for kindergartens, primary, middle, and high schools, as well as higher education institutes. The guidelines contain basic information about COVID-19, steps schools must take to prepare for reopening, and regulations once students return to campus.
Schools are required to take various measures to ensure the entire school and classrooms are kept disinfected and safe for teachers and students:
China begins giving COVID vaccination in July
As of 22 October 2020, China has 4 vaccine candidates in stage 3 trials all of which have also been approved for limited use. China began vaccinating key workers such as health workers and border workers back in July 2020.
“Hundreds of thousands of Chinese have been given two experimental Covid-19 vaccines under an emergency scheme without a single case of infection, a top official with a state-owned vaccine developer has said.” – South China Morning Post (8 Sept 2020)
“Chinese Citizens Are Already Receiving a Coronavirus Vaccine” – The New Yorker (29 Sept 2020)
“China Joins Covax Global Initiative to Provide Covid-19 Vaccines to Poor Countries” – The Wall Street Journal (10 Oct 2020)
The health app in China
China is making use of a health app which works on a 3 colour coded system. A green code means you are symptom free and are therefore allowed to travel freely, take public transport, visit restaurants, hotels and apartment blocks. You simply scan a QR code to demonstrate your green health status. A yellow code means you have had contact with an infected person but haven’t yet completed your quarantine period. A red code means that you have the coronavirus, or have symptoms such as a fever and are awaiting your test result. Read an article from one of our teachers, Joel about his experience using the health app in Chengdu here.
China border reopening
In a measure to reduce the number of imported cases of COVID-19, China temporarily closed their border to most foreigners from Saturday 28th March 2020. China has now reopened the border, although with restrictions, and are issuing “PU letters” and work visas for some teachers. Teachers with expired residence permits can also now re-enter China. For the latest updates on the current status of the China border and how English teachers can re-enter, please see this article.
Q: Are schools in China still hiring?
A: Yes, demand for English teachers in China is higher than ever. As schools across China have been open for some time now, they continue to recruit teachers. For teachers already in China the start date can be as soon as a few weeks. For teachers outside of China, a lot of schools are holding interviews for various start dates in 2021. The work visa application process for China can take 2 to 3 months to process, so you are encouraged to interview with schools in China now and once you have accepted a job, you can begin getting the work visa documents ready.
Q: What if I have already accepted a job with a school in China but do not have a work visa yet?
A: You can continue preparing the required documents for the China work visa in your home country. If you need assistance with this, we are partnered with various visa agents around the world that can assist you with this process. Please contact us for visa advice. Once you have the required documents your school will apply for a Z work visa invitation letter.
Q: What can I do to supplement my income while I wait to start my teaching job in China?
A: A number of teachers have taken part-time online teaching jobs to earn some extra income, while they wait for the start of their teaching job in China. You can Google online teaching jobs, there are plenty of options, such as VIPKid, TutorABC and DadaABC.
Q: What if I am already in China and want to leave my current school and get a new job with another school in a different city?
A: If you are already in China and want to switch schools and transfer your work visa from one to the other, you will need:
– minimum 45 days validity on active residence permit (Z visa)
– work permit cancellation letter from previous employer (make sure your current school does not cancel your work permit though)
– to already be working in the eduction sector
Please submit an application here and we will send you suitable job options based on your preferences.
Treatment & Vaccines
There are currently more than 165 vaccine candidates being tracked by the World Health Organisation. 15 vaccines are in phase 2 trials and 11 vaccines are in phase 3 trials, which involves giving the vaccine to thousands of people for testing. After phase 3 the next step is approval. There are 6 vaccines that has already been approved for limited use. Here are some articles that go into more details:
Coronavirus vaccine tracker: How close are we to a vaccine? – The Guardian
WHO – Draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines (3rd August)