Last updated: 6th 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 in May & June
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 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 reopening border for some foreigners but not yet for English teachers
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. While English teachers can not yet enter, China has begun reopening the border to some foreigners.
“China has signed fast track agreements with Germany, France, South Korea, UK, Japan, and Singapore. Other countries that are reportedly on the list of the “fast track, green channel” program also include Italy and Switzerland. For now, “fast track, green channel” program is for business people of key sectors, such as logistics, technical business and financial services”.
This is very positive news and a big step in the right direction. As virus cases in most places around the world continue to drop, we are hoping it won’t be too long before China extends the policy to the education sector and begins allowing English teachers to enter the country again. We will certainly keep you updated with any news.
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 currently more than 140 vaccine candidates being tracked by the World Health Organisation. 9 vaccines are in Phase 2 trials and 2 vaccines are in stage 3 trials, which involves giving the vaccine to thousands of people for testing. After stage 3 the next step is approval. Here are some articles that go into more details:
Coronavirus vaccine tracker: How close are we to a vaccine? – The Guardian (3rd July)
Coronavirus vaccine: Are we close to finding one? – Cnet (2nd July)
Pfizer reports encouraging, very early vaccine test results – The Associated Press (1st July)
From Oxford to an Italian lab, one race for coronavirus vaccine is gaining backers – Washington Post (20th June)
CanSino’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for military use in China – Reuters (29th June)
Operation Warp Speed (OWS) aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2020 – Health & Human Services (16th June)
Moderna on track for large COVID-19 vaccine test in July – TaiwanNews (11th June)