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Coronavirus - those in China, and general discussion


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ChTTay
1 hour ago, arreke said:

When do you guys think China is going to allow foreigners to come back to China?

I don’t think anyone can give any answer other than pure speculation. 

 

Perhaps when other countries start to lift similar restrictions. 

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mungouk

International travel is probably going to be the last thing to get up and running again, and it's looking likely that we won't be going back to the old "normal".

 

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roddy

BLCU has a big 'autumn classroom courses still open to apply' banner. Of course, when you click on the link you get an error. 

 

I suspect it depends what you're doing, though. You can still apply for visas (there was an entry ban on *existing* visas, but it was stated that visas issued after that point would be valid). So if you can find an employer or a school which can get the documents, maybe you could come in now? 

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I received an email yesterday that an international visitors' program (people from different countries coming to China for several weeks), that usually takes place in August/September, was cancelled.

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ChTTay
3 hours ago, roddy said:

there was an entry ban on *existing* visas, but it was stated that visas issued after that point would be valid). So if you can find an employer or a school which can get the documents, maybe you could come in now? 

I feel like they meant you can apply for a new visa then left the other part unspoken ... which is you won’t get one! Unless there are some special circumstances and, for some reason, they need someone to come in. 
 

I think most schools at the moment here are looking at internal recruitment only. I assume that’s because they cannot hire externally right now. 
 

Even if you wanted to recruit someone and bet on them being allowed in by August/September, the paperwork usually takes 3 months (maybe more!?). If you can’t start that paperwork pretty soon then you won’t get them here on time anyway. I have no idea if you can get the ball rolling on hiring right now.  

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roddy

The jobs boards seem to have stuff up there. EF was the only big name I noticed. 'Course, they could just be starting the process and keeping their fingers crossed that they can actually get the documentation and get the teachers in. But if I wanted to get to China for the coming semester, I'd be getting started now rather than waiting for any government announcement. 

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889

"You can still apply for visas (there was an entry ban on *existing* visas, but it was stated that visas issued after that point would be valid). So if you can find an employer or a school which can get the documents, maybe you could come in now?"

 

The official announcement said, "Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected." Nothing there about educational activities. at least as a student (maybe teaching = economic activity?).

 

http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjbxw/t1761867.shtml

 

Even if you were to get a new visa, you'd still have to deal with the quarantine.

 

As to re-opening, I think China will move far far faster than others here believe: I think as a matter of propaganda China wants to tell the world it's conquered the virus and is back to normal. Of course as a matter of propaganda, what China announces will happen and what actually happens may be quite different.

 

 

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Shelley

All this talk about visas is really just a moot point at the moment, there are no planes flying anywhere, especially long haul from the UK. The major carrier BA has just announced large redundancies and the mothballing of most of their aircraft, they are pulling out of Gatwick and concentrating on Heathrow only.

 

Airlines in general are talking about carrying less passengers per flight to allow for social distancing. So it will be very expensive to fly.

 

All the planes are in the wrong places and it will apparently take weeks to get some sort of schedule to start.

 

So it looks like its going to be lots of short hops, or the proverbial slow boat to China.

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mungouk
18 minutes ago, Shelley said:

there are no planes flying anywhere

 

Well, there are some but of course not many. Hainan airlines just flew from Toronto to Beijing PEK today, for example.  

 

From today they're running 2 flights a week to Beijing via Xi'an, one from Toronto and one from Brussels:

 

809654911_Screenshot2020-05-01at15_39_07.thumb.png.f77f875bf0b2d39ffa93e3120f17d3ab.png

 

(Hainan Airlines news page.)

 

That flight from Brussels costs Eur 2179 btw. 

 

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889

" . . . there are no planes flying anywhere, especially long haul from the UK."

 

That's just not true. In fact, if you hurry you might be able to catch JD432 from Heathrow Terminal 2 to Qingdao departing today May 1 at 22:30. (Hope you have one of those newly-issued visas!)

 

There are also daily flights from Heathrow to Hong Kong, as well as to many other places. (Indeed, many of Hong Kong's imported virus cases in past weeks have been passengers on those flights ex-London.)

 

https://www.heathrow.com/departures

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889

That was about BA at Gatwick. The story never says BA overall isn't flying anywhere.

 

The story does say, "In a separate letter to pilots, BA said it cannot rule out suspending the rest of its Heathrow operation." That pretty much says BA still has some operations at Heathrow, which it might suspend in the future.

 

In any event, there are other airlines, like Beijing Capital, flying out of Heathrow, in addition to BA.

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StChris
On 5/1/2020 at 12:24 PM, suMMit said:

Anyone know what the current situation is like in Harbin?

 

I'm in Harbin right now. I haven't really been playing close attention to the news these past couple of weeks, so was a bit surprised when I came across this article the other day:

 

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/is-harbin-china-s-new-wuhan-

 

Fortunately, the article is a textbook example of Betteridge's Law of Headlines and the answer is "no". I did have an inkling that something was up when my residential compound started tightening up security again and reinstated the ban on non-residents entering (the delivery people etc). We're back to needing a permission slip to leave like we were a while back. Even before that happened, I did notice the the malls and restaurants had gotten noticeably quieter again, after a period of getting slowly busier. I haven't bothered to go out since, but even just from my window I can see that the traffic is busy and that there are plenty of people walking about outside. This is very different from Feb and March, when everywhere was eerily quiet and devoid of people.

 

These new set of infections have definitely pushed back Harbin's timetable for getting back to normal though. I have quite a few friends who left in February, and there is no sign of them being allowed back yet. I myself want to return home, but have resigned myself to staying here until the late summer at least.

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StChris

Well, it looks like things in Harbin have taken another turn for the worse:

 

Quote

Reuters: A northeastern Chinese city of 10 million people struggling with currently the country’s biggest coronavirus cluster shut dine-in services on Saturday, as the rest of China eases restrictions designed to hamper the spread of the disease.

Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang and its biggest city, said it temporarily suspended dine-in services for all eateries, reported the official CCTV citing an emergency epidemic prevention notice.

Catering services operating in the city, such as barbecue eateries and those selling skewers, shabu shabu, and stew, shall suspend dine-in meals until further notice and in accordance with changes in the epidemic situation, the notice said.

While mainland China reported only one case on Saturday and crowds returned to some of its most famous tourist attractions for the 5-day May holiday, the northern province of Heilongjiang is hunkering down to prevent further clusters from forming.

Of the 140 local transmissions in mainland China, over half have been reported as from Heilongjiang, according to a Reuters tally.

 

Heilongjiang province borders Russia and has become the frontline in the fight against a resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic, with many new infections from citizens entering from Russia.

The province has already banned entry to residential zones by non-locals and vehicles registered elsewhere. It had also ordered isolation for those arriving from outside China or key epidemic areas.

On the back of the outbreak, deputy secretary of the Provincial Party Committee Wang Wentao said at a Friday meeting “we deeply blame ourselves”, according to local media.

“We had an inadequate understanding of epidemic prevention and control,” said Wang, adding that the failure to carry out testing in a timely manner contributed to the clusters.

 

I hope they don't shut down take away services. I've been enjoying using MeiTuan quite a lot recently.

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banjo67xxx

Swiss are planning to fly direct flights between Zürich and Beijing Daxing Airport, from June 2nd. However when you try to book, you have to tell them to use airport code PKX because they can't find the flights using the BJS airport code.

 

I asked the Chinese consulate in Bern if they would allow my son to apply for an emergency Q1 Visa and they simply replied that the consulate is closed, just keep checking the Zürich consulate, Zürich CVASC and Bern consulate websites for new of reopening.

 

On 5/1/2020 at 3:24 PM, 889 said:

"Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected."

 

So, when they reopen, if I can persuade them that my son & I need to be with my wife "for humanitarian needs" then I should be able to get in on a Q2 Visa (although I expect to be quarantined in Beijing for 2 weeks).

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ChTTay
1 hour ago, banjo67xxx said:

although I expect to be quarantined in Beijing for 2 weeks)

Fairly sure it’s a 3 week quarantine now. 2 weeks hotel and 1 week home observation. If you wife is at home she may have to move out for a week or do the quarantine with you. 

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