Last updated: 2nd July

New cases of COVID-19 coronavirus across China fallen dramatically

The number of new cases of the coronavirus reported across China since early 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. In mid-June there was a small outbreak of a couple of hundred cases in Beijing which is being contained.


Schools across China re-open

Life in China has been returning to normal with schools, businesses and shops opening up. Public schools, kindergartens and private language schools in provinces all over China have now reopened for face to face classes, expect for in Beijing. Beijing experienced new virus cases in a food market in mid-June and schools were ordered to go back to online teaching for now.

Read an article written by one of our teachers, Joel, about his first face to face class back at school in May here and one about how life in Chengdu is returning to business as usual here.

Read more about the school reopening dates on the Beijing Kids page.

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:

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 temporarily closes border to foreigners on Saturday 28th March

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, even those with existing work visas and resident permits. No date has been given yet for when foreigners will be able to enter China again. Once the number of coronavirus cases outside of China have been controlled and reduced, the Chinese border will likely be reopened. For more details see this article from The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.

Q: When will the Chinese border reopen to foreigners?
A: It is not yet known for sure when the border will be reopening. While the China border remains temporarily closed to most foreigners, China has been allowing entry to some business travelers from South Korea since 1st May, provided they show a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of travel. Singapore has recently been granted a similar agreement, which is a positive step forward. In the past month China has also started allowing more planes to fly in to the country. It is believed that foreigners planning to work in China will be allowed to enter China before tourists. The decision on when to reopen the border will likely be based on a country by country basis, depending on how well each country is containing the virus.

Q: Are schools in China still hiring?
A: Yes, demand for English teachers in China is higher than ever. As schools across China, apart form in Beijing,  have now reopened they continue to recruit teachers for start dates from July to December. 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 flexible start dates when the border reopens. The work visa application process for China can take 2 to 4 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 so you can enter China once the border is reopened.

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 issue you with a Z work visa invitation letter. As soon as the ban on foreigners entering China has been lifted, you can take the invitation letter to the Chinese embassy and get your Z work visa and then enter China.

Q: What if I have already been issued the Z work visa but I haven’t entered China yet and the visa is expiring soon?
A: Once the Z work visa has been stamped in to your passport, you have 3 months to enter China. If the work visa expires before you enter China, the school will have to reapply for a new invitation letter for you. The good news is the school can just use the existing documents they already have from you to reissue it. You can then use that to apply for a new Z work visa. A lot of schools are offering to reimburse any visa application costs, please check with your school directly to ask if yours does.

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.

What is COVID-19 coronavirus?
The coronavirus, known as COVID-19, causes flu symptoms, and those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. Here is a map of cases complied by Johns Hopkins with data from the World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Treatment & Vaccines

There are many companies working on a variety of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. Here are some articles that go into more details:

University of Oxford (23rd June)

The Guardian (12th April)

Market Watch (13th April)

Clinical Trials Arena (23rd March)

National Institutes of Health (16th March)

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